Paediatric intensive care staff swap scrubs for sneakers to raise funds for the children’s hospital where they work


Two members of the paediatric intensive care team at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales will be running a 70k ultramarathon from Brecon to Cardiff in aid of the hospital’s official charity. Ward manager, Suzanne Davies from Bridgend and dietician Helen Penny from Caerphilly are taking on the challenge as a way of saying thank you to the Noah’s Ark Charity for the support it has given to the children’s hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Suzanne began her career as a nurse in 2002 and has worked on the paediatric critical care unit (PCCU) for 19 years. Dietician, Helen, joined the team in 2016, and the two quickly bonded over their mutual love of epic challenges.

Both Suzanne and Helen are seasoned runners but admit to being slightly daunted by the 70km distance. They are, however, looking forward to the event and are currently in full preparation mode, completing long and short distance training runs and eating plenty of the right food.

Suzanne says: “Working on a children’s critical care unit by its very nature can be very tough but working during the pandemic has been particularly challenging.  The Noah’s Ark Charity has always been a great support to staff, parents and patients at the hospital over the years arranging for a therapy dog called Nico and his owner, Emma, to visit the children of the hospital, among many other things. But during the pandemic they have also provided our unit with iPads to help families stay in touch as only one parent has been allowed to stay with the child and overnight bags for parents and children with all the essentials they could need.

The charity has also purchased many pieces of essential equipment to help us provide the best care possible for children, such as non-invasive ventilators. They’ve been amazing and for us, we feel it is time to give something back. The ultra-marathon, all 70km of it, will be a huge challenge for both of us but we are looking forward to completing it and raising money for Noah’s Ark.”

The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity supports the children’s hospital for Wales, helping to ensure world class care and the best outcome and experience possible for the young patients who receive treatment there.  Operating entirely thanks to public donations, the charity raises money to fund capital projects like the new neonatal intensive care unit, life-saving equipment for specialities across the hospital and invaluable family support services like the play specialist team. The charity has also continued its support for families during the ongoing one parent only restrictions by providing food for parent kitchens.

Kath Fisher, community fundraising manager at the Noah’s Ark Charity says: “It’s always particularly humbling when our colleagues on the frontline choose to support the charity. Like everyone at the hospital, Suzanne and Helen have worked so hard during very challenging times and we’re so grateful to them for taking on this additional mammoth challenge. The money they raise will go straight back in to helping them and their colleagues to provide the best care possible for the thousands of children and families who receive treatment at the hospital each year.”

To donate to Suzanne and Helen’s challenge, please visit: