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Martin Roby, of Deal, running Brighton Marathon after SCBU at QEQM Margate cared for his baby, Ollie

By KentOnline reporter

A dad is taking on his first ever marathon for a special care baby unit that saved his son.

Martin Roby and his wife Kirsty, from Deal, were in a terrible touch-and-go scenario with little Ollie when he was born.

Even Mrs Roby's life had to be saved when she fell dangerously ill after the birth at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Martin Roby after finishing a 20-mile pracice run Picture: East Kent Hospitals University NHS Found Trust
Martin Roby after finishing a 20-mile pracice run Picture: East Kent Hospitals University NHS Found Trust

But both were brought back to health and now Mr Roby is running the Brighton Marathon this Sunday in gratitude.

This will be five days before Ollie's first birthday.

Mr Roby, now 38, sums on up on his JustGiving page: "Ollie is now a healthy, happy boy. We are forever grateful to everyone at the hospital who helped him through a tough start to his life.

"We would like to thank anyone who is able to donate to this charity in order that they can help other babies and parents in the same way.

"Without the doctors and nurses neither Ollie or Kirsty would be here now."

Baby Ollie in his incubator. Picture: Martin Roby
Baby Ollie in his incubator. Picture: Martin Roby

Ollie was born at the QEQM on April 19, 2018 after an agonising 20-hour labour for Mrs Roby.

But very soon it was clear that Ollie was not well.

Mr Roby explained: "He wasn’t crying. He was blue and floppy, and they couldn’t get him to wake up.

" The midwives had already called the doctors over and told us they were going to have to take him out of the room to check him over.”

About half an hour later Mr Roby was told that Ollie was now breathing mainly on his own but not consistently, and would be taken to the Special Care Baby Unit.

At that same time Mrs Roby suffered a postpartum haemorrhage, excessive bleeding following the birth of a baby.

She lost more than a litre and a half of blood.

Mr Roby said: “I didn’t know which way to turn. To my left, one team of doctors were treating the baby, whilst in a room to my right, another were treating my wife."

Both mother and child were soon stabilised, and after Mrs Roby were discharged the couple were able to regularly visit the SCBU to see Ollie.

They were eventually allowed to sleep in one of the unit's parents rooms, when it became available, so they could see him day and night.

Ollie was eventually moved from the High Dependency Unit to the SCBU's main nursery.

Martin Roby with wife and son. Kirsty and Ollie. Picture: East Kent Hospitals University NHS Found Trust
Martin Roby with wife and son. Kirsty and Ollie. Picture: East Kent Hospitals University NHS Found Trust

Mrs Roby, now 31, said: “The staff were amazing. “They were obviously very busy looking after the babies in their care but they encouraged us to have as much physical contact with Ollie as possible and were never too busy to help us hold him, or to give us updates or explain his treatment.”

Mr Roby has been gearing up for this week's marathon as he has usually just covered 10k (6.2 miles) runs and, until recently, never more than 10 miles.

His wife has been with him on most practice runs now, including the Deal Half Marathon in February and the Ricki Savage 20 Miles Road Race, organised by the Thanet Roadrunners, last month.

Martin Roby is a director for Batchelor Coop Chartered Accountants in Mill Lane, Eastry.

To support Mr Roby's cause visit the web page justgiving.com/fundraising/mroby

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