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Bereaved father of baby Mac Quinn and his friends to take on three peaks challenge fundraiser to give back to Queen’s Medical Centre and Kings Mill Hospital

A bereaved father and his friends are to take on a 24-hour mountain climbing challenge to help give back to two hospitals that cared for his son.

Niall and Shannon Quinn lost their baby boy Mac on May 19, 2023, just two weeks after he was born, through a rare, fatal genetic condition called Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH).

He was cared for at both Kings Mill Hospital’s neonatal and children’s wards, and Queen’s Medical Centre’s paediatric intensive care ward before his ventilation was switched off.

Shannon and Niall Quinn with baby Mac.
Shannon and Niall Quinn with baby Mac.

Now the husband and wife, from Mansfield, want to show their appreciation of the staff who cared for Mac, and create care packages to ensure parents in a situation like theirs can find some comfort while in the hospitals.

Niall, who works for East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “From the get go they went above and beyond… they looked after Mac and they looked after me and Shannon.

“When we were staying in the hospitals me and Shannon discussed giving something back to them. We noticed Queen’s Medical Centre was quite run down.

Ben Walker and Niall Quinn.
Ben Walker and Niall Quinn.

“What the doctors and nurses do is just unbelievable and I think they don’t often get the support and appreciation they deserve, and it is also for the families that might be in a similar situation and have to be in hospital with their baby or toddler.

“It would be nice to make their life a bit easier because you are lost in the moment when you are there.”

They also aim to raise awareness of NKH, of which Niall and Shannon learnt they were both carriers after Mac’s diagnosis.

Niall Quinn and Josh Rymell-Ellis.
Niall Quinn and Josh Rymell-Ellis.

Alongside the devastation of Mac’s death, the couple also then learnt that to safely have a child they would need to undergo IVF treatment.

Niall, his brother-in-law Ben Walker and close friend Josh Rymell-Ellis, who also works for East Midlands Ambulance Service, will be taking on the Three Peaks Challenge on May 18 in memory of Mac.

The trio will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours, and have set up a GoFundMe page where donations can be made to their cause.

They chose the challenge, Niall explained, because it would be a “massive achievement” to complete it, and a fitting way to remember Mac due to the mental and physical effort the challenge requires.

They are aiming to raise £5,000 which will be split between the two hospitals and be used to supply all three wards with essential items and care packages to help other families in their time of need.

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