Northampton mum to run marathon in memory of her baby girl who died after battling heart disease

Mum, Anna with her baby, Amelia.
Mum, Anna with her baby, Amelia.

A Northampton woman, whose baby was born with a severe congenital heart defect, is this year running 26 miles to fundraise for charities who supported her daughter before she died.

Anna Gallagher, 33, of West Hunsbury gave birth to Amelia Rose back in 2013 ahead of learning that her baby had been born with heart disease. Before Amelia turned eight months old, she underwent three open heart surgeries and passed away while the family was at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on a routine check-up.

Amelia Rose pictured at GOSH hospital.

Amelia Rose pictured at GOSH hospital.

She said: "Having Amelia with us was a life-changing experience. We spent months on end in GOSH - as well as The John Radcliffe and NGH. Juggling our two daughters at home and separating our family was one of the toughest parts, thankfully we had my mum here to help us.

"Amelia was one of the happiest little babies anyone would ever meet - she had no idea that her little body was so strained every day. To her, this was just normality. She adored playing with her older sisters Miah, now 13 and Jasmine, now 10, and always giggled along to whatever they were doing. We were so so blessed to have her in our lives."

Amelia's death in 2014 was described by her mum as 'unexpected and a complete shock'.

Anna added: "Her tiny heart and lungs couldn’t take anymore, and despite the best efforts of the staff on Bear Ward that day, she died in our arms at 11am.

"She was loved by so many, she proved herself to be such a strong little character, and she is missed by so many people, not just her family."

After two years of intensive training, Anna is now set to run the London Marathon this year to raise money for the London-based hospital charity and other charities who supported the family throughout their tough time.

She added: "Two years ago, I was a different person entirely, I was overweight, unfit and a bit of a mess.

"I decided to change in order to be physically fit enough to raise money for Great Ormond Street and all the other charities that helped us along with our journey.

"It’s been two years of training, running crazy obstacle races, going to the gym at stupid o’clock in the morning to get me to where I am now, and I am taking on the ultimate in physical fitness and running 26.2 miles."

Anna, who is set to raise £2,000, has so far raised £782.82. To donate, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anna-gallagher4