A grateful brother who recently took on his first ever half-marathon run has raised over £1,240 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, as thanks for the life-saving care his younger brother received when he was born. 

Nineteen-year-old Olly Jones, from Hagley, pulled on his running shoes and completed the 13-mile course of the Sheffield half-marathon, having never run further than half the distance before. After seeing the running event promoted on a banner, Olly, who studies at Sheffield Hallam University, initially signed up to set himself a challenge but decided he could use it for good and raise money for a cause close to his heart – Birmingham children’s Hospital. 

When Olly was five, his brother, Toby, was born with a complex heart condition which required urgent treatment. At just a couple of days old, Toby was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he underwent open-heart surgery to mend his tiny heart. Toby needed further surgery when he was six-months-old but soon began to thrive and now, at 15-years-old, although he returns to the hospital for yearly checkups, Toby lives his life to the fullest, inspiring Olly every day. 

With only three weeks to train between signing up and the Sheffield half-marathon taking place, and having only ever taken part in shorter, more casual park runs, Olly had his work cut out. The course was hillier than Olly was used to but on the day the energy and the buzz of the crowd carried him across the finish line in just under one hour and 45 minutes. 

Olly said: “Toby wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the incredible cardiac team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and seeing him living his life and achieving everything he sets his mind to truly inspires me. I’m eternally grateful to the hospital for giving Toby that chance. 

“I signed up to the Sheffield half to challenge and establish myself as a runner but it was a great chance to do something to give back to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I set myself what I thought was an ambitious target of £500 so I was over the moon to have raised over double!” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Olly did a fantastic job completing his first ever half-marathon and in such good time! We’re so grateful that he chose to use his challenge to support our charity and the funds he raised will help us continue supporting the incredible work of our cardiac team as they care for brave patients, just like Toby.”