This Sunday 14th May, staff from Yorkshire Carnegie will be running the Leeds Half Marathon in support of Leah Pendlebury and in aid of Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Yorkshire Carnegie’s Academy coach, Jon Pendlebury will be running in support of his daughter, Leah Violet, who was born premature on 23rd July 2016 at 29 weeks and 4 days.  He will be joined in the run by his colleagues, Senior Academy Strength and Condition coach, Greg Roe, Assistant Academy physiotherapist, John Swain, Kirsktall Site Manager, Steve Burton and Head Physiotherapist, Eoin Cremen in aid of Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Intensive Care Unit where his daughter spent a considerable amount of time from August to Dec 2016 and where her life was saved twice.

Speaking about his daughter Pendlebury said: “Leah made a strong start to life and was discharged from neonatal St. James at 34weeks gestation (-6 weeks term), but she then started to encounter challenges.

“Leah was home just two days before we noticed that she was having difficulty breathing, deteriorating rapidly. We called 999 for Leah to be rushed in to be intubated by the crash team as she was unable to breathe for herself.
“She was then transferred to Leeds General Infirmary Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for a three week stay where she was cared for 1:1, 24/7, ventilated and given a combination of drugs, before deteriorating further and needing an oscillator, designed to achieve and maintain optimal lung volume in children with respiratory failure and high predicted mortality rate.

“Leah improved after a week and was allowed to move to a ward for several days for observation before returning home late September 2016.
“Leah made good progress before contracting a second illness two weeks later in October. Leah was admitted for a second time and initially managed on vaportherm (pressurised O2) soon became apparent that she was deteriorating again.
“Leah was admitted for a second stay on LGI PICU, again intubated, under 1:1 24/7 care.  After a further three weeks of ventilation she was then moved back on to the oscillator and the Doctors began tough and serious conversations with us on the likely outcome that Leah and we could face. Her chances didn’t look good.

“Leah was oscillated for two weeks again with a combination of antibiotics, pain killers, sedatives, paralysis, diuretics and steroids in hope that she would pull through but knowing her chances were very slim.  This little girl is one stubborn strong fighter!

“The support, knowledge and decisions the PICU staff made allowed Leah and us every hope and she did pull through!  Leah was discharged 29th December 2016 and has been home since, under care.”

If you would like to support Jon and his colleagues in their Run 4 Leah you can sponsor them by visiting