Eighteen months ago climbing Yorkshire’s Three Peaks would have been impossible for Bobby Duggan
But the eight-year-old from Bradford, who was born with missing knee ligaments, has done just that.
Bobby decided to do the sponsored climb for The Children’s Hospital Charity to say thank you for his care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he had major knee reconstruction.
Bobby was born with a limb deficiency which meant that he was missing key ligaments.
“They initially expected Bobby’s operation to last four hours, but it was a major operation,” recalls mum Angela. “They needed to take donor tissue from another part of his leg muscle to reconstruct both ligaments in his knee. It ended up taking six and a half hours.”
The Paediatric Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital is the largest in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation for providing state-of-the-art treatment for those who either develop or are born with problems of alignment or length of their limbs.
Two months after his surgery, in July 2018, Bobby required a second operation following a growth plate fracture. The recovery meant that he had to have his leg in a cast throughout the summer holidays, returning to Sheffield Children’s once a week for plaster adjustments and check-ups.
“It was a difficult time as Bobby was in a wheelchair and he couldn’t do any of the activities he would normally. He couldn’t ride his bike, swim or use his scooter, but he just got on with it,” says Angela. “Not once did he complain and his friends even changed their birthday parties from swimming to bowling so Bobby could come along.”
It was during his first stay in Ward 2 at Sheffield Children’s that Bobby began thinking about how he could give back for his care, after seeing one of The Children’s Hospital Charity’s donor recognition plaques on the wall of his private patient room.
Bobby recalls: “The nurses said I was the first patient to stay in my room. When I saw the sign on the wall, I wanted to give something back for other children having operations.”
Bobby was joined by his dad and big brother Archie, aged nine, in the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, raising £700 to help the Play Specialist team at Sheffield Children’s hospital.