Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan is fundraising for specialist incubators for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where his daughter India was cared for last year. This October, he will be running the Marathon des Sables, known as the toughest footrace on earth. Read his story below:

“After a difficult pregnancy, and many emergency hospital trips, my daughter India was born at 28 weeks – 3 months prematurely in February 2020. She was very small and fragile weighing only 2.5lb (a third of the weight of a normal baby, about the same weight as a bag of sugar) and had to immediately go into an incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital with the risk she would not survive. She stayed in the incubator for many weeks.

Thanks to the miracle workers at Chelsea and Westminster’s NICU, India survived and is now a thriving one year old. We owe huge gratitude to all the wonderful nurses and doctors there!

I am taking on the challenge of running what is known as the toughest foot race on earth – the Marathon des Sables ‘MdS’, 6 marathons in 7 days a total of 157 miles in the Moroccan desert commencing on 1st October 2021 to raise money to buy a state of the art incubator to save premature babies’ lives. Temperatures in the desert often reach over 50C and one of the stages is two marathons totalling 52.4 miles, back to back!

At the launch of this page in June 2021 I am well into the training which will total about 1,000 miles and I have another circa 750 miles to go over the next four months…

NICU needs to invest in additional specialist incubators like the Giraffe OmniBed Carestation for fragile premature babies. The advanced technology of this specialist incubator means these babies no longer need to undergo the sizeable stress of being transferred to another incubator for surgery – instead, they can simply stay in the Giraffe OmniBed right through to the theatre. The NICU equipment budget given via NHS England covers basic equipment, which would include at the most three enhanced OmniBed incubators – which is why they are relying on donations to fund the additional OmniBeds needed.

My minimum target is the £30,000 it costs to buy one special Giraffe OmniBed Carestation incubator. But it would be wonderful to exceed that, and help fund the additional ventilator too which is an extra £22,000 making the total cost £52,000.

I appreciate that these are trying times for everyone, which is why I have chosen such a difficult challenge to help encourage you into donating. Any amount you can donate, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated and 100% of every £1 you donate will go towards buying the incubator for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In return you will know you have helped to save babies’ lives.

Finally, some of you may be interested to know that I was also born early – by five weeks – and started life in an incubator! So I really owe my own life as well as our daughter’s to incubators.

Anything you can donate to support my run will be very gratefully received for the Chelsea and Westminster Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”