Bishopbriggs dad’s runs marathon in his garden to thank NHS for saving baby daughter’s life

A father of two from Bishopbriggs has completed a full marathon around his own back garden to raise funds for the ‘superheroes’ who saved his daughter’s life.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 11:57 am

In the summer of 2018, Hamish Robertson’s daughter Isobel was born extremely prematurely at just 26 weeks gestation, weighing only 2lbs. Isobel then went on to spend 91 days being cared for in the Princess Royal Maternity Neonatal Unit in Glasgow.

To raise funds for the Neonatal Unit which cared for Isobel, Hamish, 36, set the extraordinary challenge of running 110km in one go around the Isle of Arran this June with his fellow ‘Neonatal Harriers’ teammates Graeme Ritchie and Chris Chambers, all for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

And while the latest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were set to hamper Hamish’s training efforts, this determined Dad still has his eyes firmly set on the prize of completing the challenge, and has adapted his training plan to accommodate the new lockdown restrictions imposed on households across the UK.

Coined the “Lockathon Backyard Series”, during lockdown Hamish has safely run his own 1 mile, 5km, 10km, half marathon and full marathon challenges, by completing laps of his own garden.

Hamish said: “The purpose of the Lockathon Backyard series is to raise awareness of the incredible work done by neonatal units during the COVID-19 crisis, and to support the efforts of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

“Like many tiny, fragile and vulnerable babies, Isobel benefited hugely from the dedicated support of the amazing staff at the Princess Royal Maternity Neonatal Unit. She was given the best possible start to life and is doing well now, and we cannot thank the heroic teams who cared for her enough.

Hamish and his family are proud supporters of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, who raise funds for medical equipment, technology and support services at all three of Glasgow’s Neonatal Units. The family benefited from one of the charity’s projects in particular, which provided a video messaging service for Hamish’s family to feel connected with Isobel during her extended hospital stay.

Hamish added: “When your baby’s in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, one thing that brings incredible happiness to you is going in to visit, and if you have family or in particular siblings, taking them in to see their tiny baby brother or sister.

“I know that due to COVID-19, visits like this will no longer be possible, so my thoughts are with all of the strong and brave families who can’t be with their little ones. It is so important that families have the chance to keep connected to their babies and children in hospital at this worrying time. I’m sure the vCreate video messaging service funded by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity will feel like a lifeline to many.

Hamish’s wife, Christine, added: “One of the hardest parts of our baby being on the neonatal unit was having to leave her each night. Receiving the vCreate videos funded by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity from the staff overnight, allowed us and our older daughter to see how Isobel was doing while we were away, and gave us the reassurance we needed while we couldn’t be with her. This connection with her was really important in helping with expressing milk while at home, and helping our older daughter to feel more involved.”

As COVID-19 outbreak continues to have a significant impact on the NHS, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity have launched an Emergency Fundraising Appeal to support front-line NHS staff, and the families in their care.

The Charity launched a Facebook Fundraising campaign earlier this month, and is calling on the public to donate to support their efforts. Money raised will help to fund technology to keep families and their children connected, financial aid to families struggling to afford travel costs to visit their children, and also support and resources for frontline NHS heroes.

Kirsten Sinclair, Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “During this challenging time, it is always humbling to hear about our supporters going above and beyond to make a difference. We are incredibly grateful to Hamish for his remarkable training and fundraising efforts, and would like to congratulate him on completing his Lockathon Backyard Series.

“Life has slowed down for many of us, but life in Glasgow’s neonatal units and children’s hospital has not. We urgently need donations to help our hospital heroes give seriously ill children the care they need and to support their families during these dark days.

“Donations to our urgent COVID-19 appeal will be directed to where the NHS most needs help right now to cope with this crisis. One of these needs is to fund more iPads to keep families connected with their babies and children in hospital during this worrying time when visiting is restricted. We understand that it’s a challenging time for everyone, but every donation, no matter how big or small will make an immediate difference, and will be greatly appreciated.”

To donate to the charity’s Emergency COVID-19 Appeal, visit the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity Facebook page. Alternatively, go to www.GlasgowChildrensHospitalCharity.org or call 0141 212 8750.