ROBBIE Oliver has pushed his body to the limit in a 22 mile race up Snowdon to raise money for the hospital which saved his cousin’s life.
Mr Oliver, who is from Cross Ash but now lives in Bridgend, completed the Man vs Mountain challenge on Saturday 2nd September and has raised more than £1,000 in the process.
The money will go towards Birmingham Children’s Hospital which treated his cousin Elliott, who lives in Grosmont, in 2008. After a perfectly normal birth, Elliott was soon referred to a Neville Hall Paediatrician and then neurosurgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital when his head appeared to be larger than normal.
After a number of tests he was diagnosed with a rare condition called Craniosynostosis. This meant the plates of bone in Elliott’s skull had fused before birth causing the skull to be an abnormal shape, and restricted the growth of Elliott’s brain.
At just over four months old he had an eight hour-long surgery which involved cutting his head and breaking the skull to reshape it.
Elliott received 80 external stitches to the outside of his head and numerous internal stitches, and he spent five days in the Neurosurgery Ward 10 before making a full recovery.
Choosing to support the hospital was an easy choice for Mr Oliver given the closeness of the family.
He said: “I wanted to do something to challenge myself and thought I would raise some money for a good cause while I’m at it. Elliott is a key member of our family so I chose the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“We are quite a close family we spend a lot of time at home together so we are very close cousins.”
The race was Mr Oliver’s first competitive race, but he was happy with his efforts despite the challenge.
“It went well, I finished 389 out of 1176,” he said. “I am still totalling it up but so far I have raised more than £1,000. My target was £500 so I have smashed that.
“At the end of the day my legs had gone, it was a really tough challenge.”
Tracey Walker, Elliott’s mother was grateful for Robbie’s effort. She said: “It touches my heart that Robbie (a former couch potato) has been training for this massive challenge for months now. The money raised will be a fantastic help to the 22 bedded Neurosurgery Ward 10.”