A proud grandad, who ‘took a swing’ at fundraising by holding a charity golf day, has raised over £1,150 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, after being inspired by his nine-year-old granddaughter who wanted to say thank you to the doctors who saved her life.

Stephen Hood, from Sutton Coldfield, rounded up his golfing pals to raise money for the charity following the suggestion by his brave granddaughter, Betsy.

Betsy had been walking to school in June this year, when she was hit by a car while crossing the road. Betsy lay there conscious in excruciating pain, but thankfully an off-duty paramedic was passing and kept Betsy stable and calm while they called for help. Betsy was blue-lighted from the scene to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where examinations, x-rays and scans confirmed the full extent of her injuries. Betsy had breaks in her pelvis, ankle, back and a bleed on her brain. She was lucky to be alive.

A long road to recovery lay ahead of Betsy. She spent five weeks in hospital including four days in intensive care and operations to fix and pin her broken bones. Initially, she had to lie flat in her hospital bed, unable to move, but slowly, working with physiotherapists, Betsy was given the help she needed to learn to walk again. At first, she wore a back brace to help keep her upright and used crutches for support, but eventually, she was able to move to just the crutches, before being able to walk completely unaided.

Her family were jubilant when she finally returned home. Betsy herself felt so grateful to the hospital and the doctors who saved her life and helped in her recovery, she asked her grandad to help her say thank you. She suggested her grandad could use his golfing hobby to help raise money for the hospital’s charity, so Stephen got to work.

Stephen approached the Forest of Arden Golf Club and after hearing about Betsy’s ordeal they soon agreed to let Stephen host his event on the course for a reduced rate. He even approached a few other local companies to help boost his fundraising, who obliged in providing raffle prizes, such as rounds of golf at other clubs and the chance to watch Birmingham City Football Club play from a hospitality box.

Stephen said: “Learning Betsy had been in an accident was one of the worst moments of our family’s lives, and we had weeks of worry while she was in hospital, but I’m so proud of Betsy and the way she’s dealt with everything following the accident. She’s taken it all in her stride and come out the other side with such a strong mental attitude which really inspired our golf-day. 

“Fifteen friends came along to play, paying £50 to enter, but with many of them making extra donations and taking part in the raffle we were able to raise a fantastic amount. I’m so glad we’re able to give back to the hospital that saved her. Although Betsy is still waiting for further scan results, her recovery so far has been incredible. Thanks to her school which has been so supportive, she’s been able to gradually return to lessons too.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “It can’t have been easy for Stephen to see Betsy go through so much at such a young age but it’s clear that her strong will and determination to get better has inspired her granddad.

“Even when Betsy should’ve been thinking about herself, she was thinking of the hospital and how she can help other sick kids here. We’re so grateful to her and Stephen for raising so much for us.”