Abbey MacFarlane will be taking on the Supernova Kelpies 5K in March in aid of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that took such amazing care of her during the lowest time of her life.

On 8th of October 2019, Abbey gave birth to her first son, Andrew Thomas Maxwell. Andrew was delivered by emergency c-section at just 34 weeks as doctors became concerned with his reduced movements. Within a few hours, Andrew was rushed from Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, to The Royal Hospital for Children, due to issues with his breathing. 

After what they’d thought had been a relatively straightforward pregnancy, and with no health issues of their own, Abbey and her fiancé were confused and distressed as Andrew’s condition failed to improve.

“Looking back now there were a few red flags before Andrew was born, but the first time we really knew things were bad was when he was around 10 days old. They had taken him off sedation and he still wouldn’t open his eyes. A stretch or a sneeze every few hours in between seizures was as active he got.” Abbey said.

Over the course of the next few days, doctors tried desperately to help Andrew but a diagnosis was proving difficult to come by. As the days passed and no solution was forthcoming, things soon took a turn for the worse and Andrew’s condition deteriorated further.

“On day 21 he went from a peaceful, sleeping baby to fighting against his breathing machine and became very distressed. He still hadn’t even opened his eyes.”

Tragically it became clear to Abbey and her fiancé that there was to be no light at the end of the tunnel. They were faced with the worst decision that any parents could have to make.

“My partner and I had to make the decision that no one ever wants to be faced with – to remove life support for their child. We agreed that, given Andrew was in pain and would never get any better, that the most humane thing would be to let him go peacefully. He died on the 30th October 2019 in his daddy’s arms due to a currently unknown, extremely rare genetic condition”.

Three months on from Andrew’s passing, Abbey remains in the dark about the condition that took her son.

“We are still waiting for even more genetic results. So far all the metabolic, genetic and other tests have come back clear- much to the surprise of the consultants. They have now been sent for special tests at GOSH in London to see if there was a structural error with his DNA.”

Throughout her time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Glasgow Children’s Hospital, Abbey was taken aback by the compassion and care she received.

“The care we received from the moment we arrived until even after he had passed, was beyond amazing. For example, Laura who was his nurse for the first 3 nights, called in on her days off to see how he was getting on, and Sayeed who looked after him for his final few days and while he passed away, could not have been any more attentive to us.”

Abbey is now determined to give something back and will be taking on the Supernova Kelpies 5K run in March.

“I’ve never done any sort of running apart from 10 minutes on a treadmill since I left school, but I really wanted to do something in Andrew’s memory. I’ve downloaded the Couch 2 5k app on my phone and I’m currently on Week 3. I’m surprised I made it this far, but I am absolutely loving it! I would definitely recommend it.”

“I’m most looking forward to wearing my GCHC running top. I know it will feel amazing crossing the finishing line knowing that the money raised will go to them and all the sick children in Scotland!”

You can donate to Abbey’s cause below.Abbey’s JustGiving PageThe Supernova Kelpies series takes place on 20th-22nd March and attracts thousands of runners to light up the night as they take on 5K around Helix Park & The Kelpies.Find out more & enter!