Natalie Walker during her stay in hospital after being born weighing just 1lb 9oz
Natalie Walker during her stay in hospital after being born weighing just 1lb 9oz
Natalie Walker during her stay in hospital after being born weighing just 1lb 9oz

A Fradley dad has raised over £1,200 as a thank you to hospital staff who helped care for his daughter after she was born three months prematurely.

Craig Walker ran the Lichfield Marathon in aid of Queen’s Hospital Neonatal Unit in Burton.

Staff cared for his daughter Natalie after she arrived weighing just 1lb 9oz when Craig’s wife Jane gave birth in September 2012.

Tiny Natalie was originally transferred to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, but returned to her mum the following day after coping well without a ventilator.

But the battle was far from over for Jane and Craig’s daughter.

“During this extremely difficult time there were many ups and downs,” Craig explained. “At first Natalie seemed to be doing well and was moved out of intensive care, but at five weeks old she developed an infection which meant she had to be fed intravenously for ten days and had to go back into intensive care.

“Eventually though, with the excellent medical care given in the Queen’s Neonatal Unit, Natalie pulled through and although during her stay she had to have three blood transfusions and needed support with her breathing she made steady progress.

Natalie Walker now

Natalie eventually went home with mum, dad and big sister Eloise a week before Christmas after a three month stay in hospital and is now a healthy, happy baby.

“It is without doubt that Queen’s Hospital gave Natalie, and Jane, not only the best medical care, without which either of them may not be with us today, but also an amazing level of support,” Craig added.

Pauline Spratt (Hospital League of Friends) with the Walker family and Sister Irena Waldron

“I wanted to give something back to the unit and to give them the opportunity to improve their facilities to better enable them to provide the necessary support for parents and families in a similar situation to ours.

“I am extremely proud to have helped those who have given us so much – and of course to celebrate the miracle that is our little Natalie.”

Craig completed the Lichfield Half Marathon in one hour 54 minutes, raising £1,273.95 which was presented to the hospital’s League of Friends. The money will be used towards refurbishing the parents’ bathroom on the Neonatal Unit.

Sister Irena Waldron, from the Neonatal Unit, said: “We are delighted to receive this donation from Craig.

“During the time Natalie spent on the Neonatal Unit we all came to know her family very well and shared the ups and downs of Natalie’s progress. We were all pleased that she was able to go home for Christmas.

“We very much appreciate Craig’s hard work in raising this money for us.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.