The independent London newspaper

Marathon mum’s on the run for the Whittington

Ruth Kiang is raising funds for hospital charity after 'amazing' support when she gave birth to twins two-and-a-half months early

20 April, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Ruth with her twins, Emily and Alice, after running the Brighton Marathon

A MOTHER has raised more than £1,000 to thank a charity at the Whittington Hospital for its support when she gave birth to twins two-and-a-half months early.

Ruth Kiang, 34, prematurely gave birth to Emily and Alice at just over 30 weeks. For five weeks, with her husband Paul, Ms Kiang went back and forth to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit to see their newborns.

In recognition of the work of those who helped her in the stressful first few months, Ms Kiang has run her first marathon since having children to raise money for the Whittington Babies – a charity which supports families on the NICU.

She said: “It really was a shock, nobody expects to have a premature baby. My two girls were very small and needed support from the beginning.

Ruth at the Whittington with the twins and husband Paul

“I couldn’t hold them initially and they could only tolerate minimal touching. I faced five weeks of constantly expressing breastmilk for my babies until they were big enough to feed.

“We were looked after amazingly there and I wanted to raise as much money as I could to say thank you.”

Whittington Babies was founded in 1986 by a group of parents whose babies had spent time in the NICU.

They fundraise to help purchase equipment and additional services on the unit, such as furnishing overnight rooms, toys for siblings and breast pumps.

Through the charity, parents with similar experiences visited the couple in hospital to talk through the emotional side of premature births.

The 14-month-old girls, who are now “happy and healthy”, celebrated with Mrs Kiang and their three-year-old brother, Thomas, after she completed the Brighton Marathon in 4 hours and 57 minutes on Sunday.

“I think we were so lucky we happened to live next to such an amazing hospital,” Ms Kiang, from Muswell Hill, said.

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