Dad to cycle 300 miles for hospital that saved Isabelle

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 August 2019

Rebecca and Tom Golding with Isabelle. Picture: Golding family

Rebecca and Tom Golding with Isabelle. Picture: Golding family


A grateful dad is cycling 300 miles from Paris to Evelina London Children’s Hospital to thank medics for saving his newborn daughter’s life.

Isabelle fighting for her life in hospital. Picture: Rebecca GoldingIsabelle fighting for her life in hospital. Picture: Rebecca Golding

Isabelle Golding was born on April 28 last year but when she was taken home later that day her parents, Tom and Rebecca, noticed she was lethargic and had saliva bubbling around her mouth.

The Sidcup couple dashed back to their local hospital where an X-ray revealed she had trache-oesophageal fistula and oesophageal atresia.

This is a rare birth defect that affects a baby's oesophagus, or food pipe, and trachea, the airway. It can be life-threatening without surgery.

Rebecca, 32, said: "It was horrific and every parent's worst nightmare. We didn't know it at the time, but Isabelle was becoming really weak because she hadn't slept and milk and saliva was going straight to her lungs, which meant she was basically drowning."

Isabelle was rushed to the paediatric intensive care unit at Evelina London Children's Hospital.

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Rebecca, who is now a full-time carer for Isabelle, said: "She has been admitted to hospital 16 times in the last year, and has had to have further surgery to help her with feeding. She will need ongoing treatment and more surgery in the future so will remain an Evelina London patient until she is 18."

Tom is raising money for the children's hospital by cycling 300 miles over four days, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to Evelina London in Lambeth.

The PE teacher said: "It goes without saying that our story could have had a very different ending if it wasn't for the unbelievable treatment and care that Isabelle continues to receive at Evelina London - every single member of staff at that hospital is an angel in disguise."

He also raised £6,800 in the London Marathon.

Mr Iain Yardley, a consultant paediatric and neonatal surgeon, said: "Babies born with these rare birth defects are not able to swallow safely, if at all, without complex life-saving surgery. A huge team of specialists have been involved in Isabelle's treatment and we'll continue caring for her."

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