Carly Rose Hodgson spent seven months in hospital after she was born with a rare defect which affects one in 3,000 births in the UK.
When Emily Hodgson, 23, gave birth to her first daughter by emergency C-section in December 2010, she had no idea how poorly her little girl would be.
Carly Rose was born with gastroschisis, a condition in which a baby has a small hole in the front of the stomach, through which some of the intestine is protruding.
After spending seven months on the G4 Children’s Unit at Southampton General Hospital, Emily, of Carberry Drive, Fareham, was finally able to take Carly Rose home.
Although Carly Rose, now four, is well at the moment, she faces daily challenges and is aware that she is different to other children.
‘She doesn’t have a belly button and she has a big scar which runs right across her stomach. She can get a bit upset about it sometimes, but that’s something we will have to deal with as she gets older,’ says Emily.
To say thank you for all the time and effort the nurses went to whilst Emily and her partner John Parham, 28, were in hospital, she has decided to take on the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth this year.
She’ll be joining up to 25,000 runners at the start line on October 25 to raise money for the Southampton General Hospital charity, a cause very close to her heart.
‘The nurses on G4 were absolutely amazing when Carly Rose was born, offering us priceless advice and helping us stay calm,’ says Emily.
‘We are really grateful to them and can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me and my family going through such a tough time.’
One of Emily’s main aims is to make sure Carly Rose never feels embarrassed by her scar. With the help of her little sister Annabella, three, Carly Rose has even raised her own funds by taking part in junior fundraising events.
She will also be taking on the Morrisons Mini Great South Run for three to eight-year-olds to support her mum and raise even more funds towards the cause.
Emily says: ‘Me and Carly Rose are really excited to do the run together and show people that anyone can do it.
‘The Morrisons Great South Run is one of many events I’m doing this year for Southampton General Hospital’s charity A Helping Hand to give something back to those who aren’t always recognised.
‘We’re extremely proud of Carly Rose and how far she has come. Running the Morrisons Great South Run is just one way of me saying a big thank-you to all of the staff and nurses that made our experience a little less painful.’
The Morrisons Great South Run will take place in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 25 and is the world’s leading 10-mile running event. To sponsor Carly Rose and Emily, head to justgiving.com/jpeh/ or sign up to the event at greatrun.org/south.