Little boy’s life saved at hospital as grateful parents prepare for 53-day challenge

George Bowman and Libby Reynolds will swim at Bedworth Leisure Centre to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Ritchie’s life was saved at hospital. Now his parents want to do something to pay them back.

The little boy fell critically ill with septicaemia caused by Strep-A and adenovirus in March 2023 when he was less than a year old. He was rushed to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Birmingham Children’s Hospital by KIDS NTS after being intubated, provided with vital access lines and having a chest drain fitted at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

Ritchie was so poorly at first that dad George Bowman and mum Libby Reynolds were told he may need life support and dialysis. Their little boy had multiple seizures and cardiac arrests and as a result of his very aggressive treatment, he had a transradial amputation on his left arm and considerable debridement (where damaged tissue is removed) on his left leg to save it from being amputated.

They were finally allowed to bring Ritchie home after 53 days although Ritchie still visits the hospital on a regular basis for appointments. Now George and Libby want to do something for the hospital that saved his life.

George said: “If it were not for this incredible hospital and their equally incredible staff, Ritchie would not be with us today. We wanted to show our enormous gratitude for all they have done for our son and us as a family, and we thought this swim would be the perfect way to do just that.

“We would like to thank everyone for their generous donations so far and any further support people can give would be hugely appreciated. We know it will really spur us on as we rack up the miles in the pool.”

They will take part in a swimming challenge to raise money for the organisation. George and Libby will each swim a mile a day for 53 days at Bedworth Leisure Centre.

Happily, George is the general manager at the centre, while Libby is a swimming teacher there. The swim will begin on Saturday, March 23 and finish on Wednesday, May 15 – 53 days. That’s the number of days their son spent at Birmingham Children’s Hospital after being admitted at 11 months old.

George and Libby have already raised £3,400 of their £4,000 target for their swimming challenge but are hoping to raise as much as possible. You can donate to the JustGiving page here or alternatively give direct to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity here.