Family runs 10km to raise £10,000 for hospital that saved daughter’s life

Charity Run

On 30th September, the family of four-month old Penny Grace Morgan ran the British Heart Foundation Charity Run at Blenheim Palace, in a bid to raise £10,000 for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Southampton General Hospital. The PICU Doctors and Nurses saved Penny’s life earlier this year after she underwent open heart surgery at 8 days old, and in a show of their support, her family are raising the funds needed to refurbish the hospital’s PICU’s Family Room, a free ‘home away from home’ for families of children in intensive care.

Twenty-six of Penny’s brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends ran the race alongside her parents, who have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the Banbury community. As well as friends and family, five local businesses have generously supported their plight, including CS Wealth, Hawkins Group, Hayfield Homes, Indtech, Morgan Transport and Reg’s Cafe.

Speaking of her experience, Penny’s mother Kelly Sharman said, “Twenty weeks into my pregnancy, Penny was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) and we were advised that she would need open heart surgery soon after birth to save her life. Although we were fully prepared with the facts, we could never have been prepared for how we would emotionally cope with the harrowing experience ahead.

“Penny was born 4 weeks early and underwent two lifesaving procedures prior to her open heart surgery at just 8 days old. The PICU not only saved our daughter’s life, they saved ours too. We always expected the nurses and doctors to be professional and caring, but we simply never understood the emotional strain they go through every single day. The Nurses and Doctors were at points in tears with us, they came in on their days off to check on us, and called in hourly to check on Penny’s progress.

“Having spent three full weeks in Southampton while Penny was being taken care of, it is a haven for parents at a time when they are at their most vulnerable – allowing them to be close to their sick child. Raising this money towards the refurbishment of the family room is just a small token of our immense thanks and gratitude for everything the staff at Southampton General Hospital PICU did for our family.”

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and local businesses, a total of £9,245 of the £10,000 target has been raised. For further information or to make a donation, please visit

Philippa Smithers