Mum thanks Sheffield medics who saved sons

A mum whose two sons were saved by medics at the same Sheffield hospital in one year is training for the city's half marathon to raise cash to say thank you.

Monday, 8th February 2016, 7:49 am
Updated Monday, 8th February 2016, 1:38 pm
L-R: Nick Ward, Andrew hodgkinson and David Hodgkinson

Beth Asquith, aged 36, of Banner Cross, plans to donate the sponsorship money she raises to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where one son was treated for a heart condition and the other for meningitis.

When Beth’s son Alfie was 15 months old, he was taken to hospital with a chest infection and his heart rate was found to be dangerously fast at 300 beats per minute.

Beth, who was pregnant with her second child, Monty, at the time, said: “When the nurse came back for his observations his heart rate was over 300 beats per minute.

“I can remember her quite calmly saying, ‘there must be something wrong with this machine’, so she fetched another but the reading was the same.

“And that’s when it all got quite serious and busy.”

In an attempt to bring his heart rate down, Alfie’s head and chest were dunked in ice cold water for 10 seconds.

L-R: Georgia White, Samantha McNally and Melissa Marshall

“I can remember everyone counting to 10. They were the longest 10 seconds. This brought his heart rate down, but not enough and not consistently.

“Next they tried a beta blocker, which did work. Alfie’s heart rate came down and we were transferred to the high dependency unit,” added Beth.

Alfie, now seven, was diagnosed with Woolff-Parkinson White syndrome, which means there is an extra pathway in his heart preventing him from bringing a high heart rate down naturally.

Less than a year later, Beth’s second son, Monty, who was six months old, was rushed to the hospital with suspected meningitis.

He was given intravenous antibiotics and placed in isolation.

Beth has run Sheffield’s half marathon for Sheffield Children’s Hospital twice already.

Tonya Kennedy, from The Children’s Hospital Charity, which coordinates fundraising for the hospital, said: “It is fantastic that Beth wants to give back to our hospital after such harrowing experiences with her two boys.

“We rely on the support of fundraisers like our Yorkshire Half Marathon runners to allow us to provide facilities, equipment and research for the hospital that goes above and beyond the standard NHS provision.

“We urgently need funds to build a world-class new wing at our hospital, benefiting children from all over the world who come for our specialist care.”

A woman whose friends were both diagnosed with serious illnesses in the same year is hosting a fundraising ball in Sheffield later this year.

Georgia White, 23, is planning a fairy-tale themed masquerade ball at Sheffield City Hall in October.

Money raised will be shared between Cancer Research UK and Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Georgia’s 24-year-old friend Melissa Marshall, a beautician, was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year and her friend Samantha McNally, 22, who works in retail, was diagnosed with Crohn’s withinga week of each other.

There will be a red carpet entrance, three-course meal and entertainment including magicians, an illusionist, dancers and singers.

Georgia is looking for a sponsor to help fund the event, which she hopes will attract 450 people.

A fundraiser she held at the Sitwell Arms in Renishaw last year raised £5,000.

The death of a Sheffield man has inspired four Sheffield friends to raise cash for charity.

Andrew Hodgkinson, 32, Nicholas Ward, 31, Richard Hirst, 30 and David Hodgkinson, 32, all from Stocksbridge, are competing in a triathlon sprint with 400 other athletes in April to raise money for the charity Calm, which is aimed at preventing male suicide.

The friends are training for the swimming, running and cycling challenge after the death of Andrew’s brother-in-law, David Beal, 40, from Stocksbridge, at Christmas.

He had been battling depression and was found dead on Christmas Day.

Andrew said: “He was loved dearly by his family and many friends and we all miss him every day.

“This is why the charity Calm means so much to me, a charity that sees the severity of depression, particularly in men.

“I hope to raise the money to help other sufferers and their families gain the right help and support to get their life back on track.”

In 2014 male suicide accounted for 76 per cent of all suicides in the UK.

It is the single biggest cause of death in men under 45.

L-R: Georgia White, Samantha McNally and Melissa Marshall
L-R: Nick Ward, Andrew hodgkinson and David Hodgkinson
L-R: Georgia White, Samantha McNally and Melissa Marshall
L-R: Georgia White, Samantha McNally and Melissa Marshall
L-R: Nick Ward, Andrew hodgkinson and David Hodgkinson