Big-hearted 10-year-old conquers gruelling obstacle course for hospital which saved his life - The Rugby Observer

Big-hearted 10-year-old conquers gruelling obstacle course for hospital which saved his life

Rugby Editorial 5th Jan, 2023   0

A BIG-hearted 10-year-old boy conquered a gruelling 6km obstacle course to raise money for the children’s hospital which twice saved his life.

Joseph Coe raised over £1,500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity to help support kids just like him.

Joseph, a pupil at Knightlow Primary School in Stretton on Dunsmore, took on the intrepid Junior Wolf Run with his teaching assistant Jo Morgan, who has supported him at school since he was in reception after he received brain surgery at the hospital.

Joseph in Birmingham Children’s Hospital as a baby.

Joseph was just eight days old when he was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus – a build-up of cerebral fluid causing a blockage and pressure in his brain.

Doctors carried out an emergency procedure which created a channel for the fluid to escape to the surface of Joseph’s brain, where it could be more easily absorbed. The surgery was a success and Joseph made a full recovery.

But when he was six, Joseph began complaining of frequent headaches and struggling with his balance. His concerned mum Sarah took him back to the hospital, where he had received ongoing check-ups since his first operation. Scans showed that the original channel surgeons had made in Joseph’s brain had covered over, and a cyst was forming in its place – meaning fluid had begun to build up again.

After another operation, Joseph made another successful recovery – and now, four years later, he’s heading into his final year of primary school – and his final year with his beloved Miss Morgan.

To celebrate their years together and the special bond they have, Jo entered herself and Joseph into the fun Wolf Run.

Joseph, aged six: “Joseph hopes the money can help buy toys to entertain kids who have to stay in bed like he did.”

Joseph thought back to his most recent operation and suggested they should use their challenge to raise money to help other children undergoing similar experiences at the hospital.

On the day of the Wolf Run, Joseph gave it his all. He sloshed through the mud and scaled obstacles – and when it came to the monkey bars, Jo even let him stand on her shoulders.

As they crossed the finish line, Joseph felt weary and his legs were aching – but he had a smile on his face, knowing he’d done something to help other children.

Sarah said: “Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Joseph’s surgeon, Mr Solanki, have performed brain surgery twice and the ongoing care Joseph receives is incredible.

“As Joseph gets older, he understands more and more about his condition, and he seems to really empathise with other children who face struggles of their own.

“I’m so proud of Joseph for completing the Wolf Run with a smile on his face and for raising so much for a place that is so special to our family. He hopes the money can help buy toys to entertain kids who have to stay in bed like he did.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “A 6km obstacle course would be a challenge for most adults – but Joseph managed it, and we couldn’t be more grateful that he chose to support us.

“Joseph knows better than anyone else just what a special place our hospital is, and by raising such an incredible amount, he’s helping us make a difference for other kids just like him.”

Visit or call 0121 333 8506 to to fundraise for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.


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