A Nottinghamshire police officer is taking on a 36 hour triathlon to thank the hospital staff that saved his baby daughter.
On 20 August 2022, Robin Gurney will attempt to run, swim and cycle a 230 mile journey - the distance from Southampton to Manchester - without stopping.
The police constable and his partner, Sianne, witnessed first-hand the lifesaving care NHS staff provide to babies like little Orla. Now he's on a mission to give back by raising money for Nottingham University Hospitals Charity.
A week before Christmas 2020, the couple welcomed their twin daughters into the world, but after just an hour of being new parents, they were told to prepare for the worst.
Orla, who was born after sister Freyja, arrived with no pulse and immediately needed long-lasting CPR, adrenaline and other life saving measures. An event that Robin described as "horrendous to see."
She spent the first three-and-a-half weeks of her life at the City Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Nottingham and another month in Birmingham and Nottingham hospitals seeing specialist teams to help her recovery.
But now, 20-month-old Orla is well and thriving.
“It was a weird memory looking back because it was the best time of our lives when they were born, and also the worst time of our lives at the same time."
Robin added: “All the staff there were incredible and just did everything they could to help my family over those three-and-a-half weeks.
“It is a special place, so I really wanted to raise some money and awareness for them."
He did a similar challenge in 2018 but says he is stepping into 'unknown territory' as this time, he will not stop for breaks.
He is also making this triathlon more challenging by doing it outside, so he will have the elements and terrain to compete with.
Thinking about his fundraiser, Robin said: “It’s hard to prepare for as I can’t just go and train for 24 hours but there’s only so much you can do to get ready, the rest has got to be mental toughness."
Colleagues from Nottinghamshire Police will be showing their support by joining him on the final leg of his challenge.
“I want people running alongside me and cheering me across the line – I want my Rocky moment, but we’ll see", said the father-of-two. “It means so much to me to have the amazing support of my colleagues and friends."
Reacting to Robin's fundraising efforts, the Community Fundraiser at Nottingham Hospitals Charity said: “We’re so moved by Robin’s story."
"The money Robin raises will help other families like his during their time at the Neonatal Unit, by helping to provide things like specialist equipment, family rooms and support for parents during this difficult time.”
To find more information about how to support Robin or to donate click here.