Mirfield mum raising funds for hospital that saved her baby’s life

A Mirfield mum is raising money for the Children’s Hospital Charity, after her little boy received intensive care last year.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 6th May 2022, 6:00 am
Clockwise from front, Chester Smithson, 11 months, Stanley Smithson, three, Guy Smithson and Amy Smithson.

Amy Smithson, from Mirfield, is hosting an event on Saturday, May 7, at The Spangled Bull pub, Dewsbury, to raise money for the charity.

Amy’s son, Chester, was just six weeks old when he contracted three viruses - RSV-positive bronchiolitis, parainfluenza and rhinovirus - which put him into an induced coma.

Chester was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s intensive care unit, where he received treatment for a month.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

Chester was admitted to Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s intensive care unit, where he received treatment for a month.

While Chester was in the intensive care unit he suffered a collapsed lung and had to have a blood transfusion.

Amy said: “It was horrendous but we were really lucky because at the end of May my husband, Guy, was meant to go for an MRI scan at Pinderfields hospital, but they called to say the scanner had broken, and asked him if he could go on June 26 instead - which we said was fine.

“Fast forward to June 25, the Friday before, we went to the doctors because Chester wasn't well and they sent us to A&E.

“A&E looked at him and said he had bronchiolitis and that he could be treated at home.

"Chester is now doing great and is a really happy baby" said Amy Smithson.

“We took him home and two hours later he wasn't well, so I phoned an ambulance which took us to Pinderfields, who looked at him and said ‘It’s bronchiolitis, go home’.

“But he wasn’t well overnight and then on Saturday, June 26, Guy had his appointment for his MRI scan at 8am that morning at Pinderfields.

“I decided to go with Guy to the hospital so I could take Chester back to A&E again while he had his scan.

“When we got there, we pulled up outside A&E and Guy got the car seat out and passed it to me. This is when I noticed Chester’s hood had fallen down over his eyes.

“I pulled his hood back and he was dark blue, wasn't breathing and was foaming at the mouth.

“We ran into A&E screaming ‘our baby isn't breathing’.

“People immediately came over and they had to put him to sleep and ventilate him.

“Someone was definitely looking down on us and broke the scanner that day because they knew we needed to be there.

“If we had been two minutes later he would have gone into cardiac arrest and it would have been a completely different story.

“The chances of us being at Pinderfields on June 26, at 8am - we were meant to be there 100 per cent.”

When Chester came out of hospital, Amy knew she wanted to raise money for the Children's Hospital Charity - to give something back - and has been fundraising since.

Amy said: “Back in July 2021 while we were still in hospital, my dad, Steven Palmer, did a bike ride from coast to coast and we raised just over £3,000.

“We have also done a massive raffle which has raised £1,250 so far.

“Chester turns one on May 14, so we wanted to do a birthday party/big celebration which has also turned into a charity event.

“The charity event is a festival theme and we have decided to call it ‘Chestfest’.

“All sorts will be going on during the day such as bouncy castles, face painting, balloon modelling, Ibiza classics will be playing and a live saxophonist.

“We want to raise this money for the Children's Hospital Charity to thank them for everything they did for us - they saved his life.

“Thank you to all the people who have donated so far, for all the support - we really appreciate it.”

So far, more than £5,000 has been raised.

The Children’s Hospital Charity supports specialist treatment by funding life-saving equipment, new facilities, a comfortable environment and vital research which changes paediatric care for thousands of children from across the world.

The charity event is taking place on Saturday, May 7, starting at 1pm at The Spangled Bull pub, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, WF12 8BQ.

Donations towards the fundraiser can be made at: