A man from Fulham has raised enough money to buy a specialist incubator for a West London hospital by running the “toughest footrace on earth”.
Jonathan Wallach donated the money to Chelsea and Westminster hospital’s official charity CW+, after his daughter India was cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit last year.
India was born prematurely at 28 weeks and weighed just 2.5lb.
She stayed in an incubator for many weeks, but survived and is now one year old.
The 50-year-old from Parsons Green ran six marathons in seven days, with a total of 157 miles, in the Moroccan Sahara Desert to raise the money.
He said: “My wife, Georgia, and I owe so much to Chelsea and Westminster’s NICU, and we are thrilled to have raised enough to purchase a new incubator for the hospital.
“The challenge was brutal and very, very tough, but the end result was so worth it, and I would like to thank everyone who donated and supported me along the way.
“I was also born early – by five weeks – and started life in an incubator so I know only too well the importance of incubators for both babies and their families. An incubator saved my life as well as my daughter’s.”
All money raised from Mr Wallach’s challenge will go towards a special incubator for premature babies.
It is designed to allow doctors to operate while the baby is in the incubator, therefore reducing the stress of moving babies for surgery.
Kerry Huntington, Fundraising Director at CW+, said: “Jonathan has undertaken a remarkable challenge, and we are so very grateful to him for all his support.
“He has raised a fantastic amount of money and the new incubator will make a big difference to our tiny patients and their families in NICU.
“A heartfelt thanks to everyone who donated to Jonathan’s fundraiser, your support will undoubtedly help save babies’ lives.”
The new incubator will be situated in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s new NICU unit, which officially opened earlier this year after extensive renovations.
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