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'It was the worse time in my life' - Mother gives back to hospital after saving her baby's life

PUBLISHED: 09:34 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 14 August 2018

Baby Josh. Picture: Emma Bishop

Baby Josh. Picture: Emma Bishop

Emma Bishop

A Norfolk mother is hoping to inspire others to donate by sharing her story of how Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) saved her baby's life.

Baby Josh and Emma Bishop at the time of his surgery. Picture: Emma BishopBaby Josh and Emma Bishop at the time of his surgery. Picture: Emma Bishop

Emma Bishop, a maths teacher at Wymondham College, has been fundraising for the children’s hospital since it saved baby Josh’s life 15 years ago.

Josh was born on the May 30, 2003, weighing 9lb 12.5ozs. Miss Bishop said: “After birth Josh constantly fed and seemed very tired and unhappy and despite going to my GP and health visitor I was told there was nothing wrong.

“I persisted and in the end ended up taking him to A and E to be looked at where I was told he was okay and I was the one with the problem.”

But Miss Bishop, 39, from Attleborough, still believed that something was not right.

Josh Bishop now aged 15 with his mother Emma Bishop. Picture: Emma BishopJosh Bishop now aged 15 with his mother Emma Bishop. Picture: Emma Bishop

She added: “They finally looked over Josh and found that he had a weak pulse in his groin and alarm bells started ringing.

“Before we knew it we were with a cardiologist and were told he needed heart surgery. If Josh had been my first baby I may not have persisted and he may not be here today.”

Josh was transferred to GOSH where Miss Bishop and her family received the support they needed and surgeons were able to perform the heart operation successfully on little Josh.

Miss Bishop added: “Although it was the worst time of my life we couldn’t have been anywhere better - the love, care and support my son and the family received is second to none.

Josh Bishop now aged 15. Picture: Emma BishopJosh Bishop now aged 15. Picture: Emma Bishop

“Not only did GOSH save my son’s life by performing heart surgery but made us closer, as a family.”

Since that day Miss Bishop has been fundraising for the hospital.

Although she says she is not very adventurous she has baked cakes, hosted raffles, tombolas and completed a skydive to raise money for the hospital.

Miss Bishop said: “The skydive was one of the worst experiences of my life but it helped me raise a few thousand pounds to pay for a life saving piece of equipment used on the cardiac ward.

“I want show GOSH and all my friends and family just how much the hospital changed our lives.”

Now, she is taking part in the Richmond Half Marathon and has been attending talks to share her story and support for the hospital.

She added: “In addition to raising funds for the hospital I want to show Mum, Paul, Josh and my other children Jade and James just how much I love them and how our family would not be complete without Josh.

“I have been overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and even strangers i have never met who share similar experiences and i want to raise money for the hospital so that other families can have the happy ending we did.“

Laura Savory, head of community fundraising at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said: “I’d like to wish Emma the very best of luck ahead of her half marathon at the Richmond Running Festival.

“By taking on this challenge and with all her fantastic fundraising efforts, she’s making a huge difference to seriously ill children from across the UK who are cared for at GOSH.

“Emma has also done so much to help us inspire other runners taking on the event, including attending as a guest speaker at the Festival’s training day, and we are very grateful for her ongoing support.”

To support Miss Bishop go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-bishop-half-marathon

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