A six-month-old baby is the youngest person ever to complete a marathon for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity – with help from his mum of course! Baby Theo and Mum Becky Davies, from Redditch, took on the charity’s virtual Red Runners challenge, raising more than £300 for the hospital, where Theo received life-saving care at just a few hours old.

Theo was born in August last year and after a straight forward pregnancy and uncomplicated birth, 33-year-old Becky expected to be out of their local hospital and home within a day. However, not long after Theo’s arrival, it became obvious from his grunting that he was struggling to breathe. Theo’s oxygen levels were extremely low and doctors diagnosed him with Congenital Pneumonia.

With no time to come to terms with her baby’s diagnosis, Becky and Theo were transferred to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, where Theo was taken straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and put onto a ventilator, but it soon became clear he needed further specialist treatment.

Theo was transferred once again, this time to the Women’s Hospital’s sister site, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where teams were ready and waiting to provide Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS), a type of treatment that would do the work of his little lungs while he fought the Pneumonia. Fortunately, thanks to the quick work, skills and knowledge of the staff on the hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Theo began to show signs of improvement with the ventilator and antibiotics alone, avoiding the drastic ECLS treatment altogether.

After a stressful 10 days, Theo was well enough to be transferred back to his local hospital to continue his recovery, before Becky was allowed to take him home for the first time. It was then that Becky had the chance to reflect, not only on the incredible care her baby boy had received, but how she’d been looked after too, being able to be by Theo’s side and stay in parent accommodation close by.

A few months after their ordeal, Becky signed up to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Red Runners virtual running series, and pledged to take on the marathon distance at her own pace, with Theo by her side. Becky asked friends and family for sponsorship, to help to thank the hospital for their care, and walked every day for a week, with Theo in his pushchair, to complete the 26.2 miles.

Becky said: “We’ll never be able to thank the staff at the hospital enough for everything they did for Theo, so taking on the Red Runners marathon seemed like a great way to show our appreciation. We were able to take on the distance at our own pace and in our own time which meant it was more than achievable with a pushchair in tow. Theo has a shiny medal to treasure now too!”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Theo is definitely our youngest, if not the cutest Red Runner, and with Becky’s help, he’s raised a fantastic amount which will go towards supporting other patients and families.

“Our Red Runners virtual running series is still open and you don’t have to be an athlete to take part. Just choose from our 5k, 10k, half or full marathon distances and complete them at your own pace, before 28 February, to help us do more for sick kids like Theo.”

If you would like to sign up and become a Red Runner to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, you can do so here.