Sunderland mum’s illness inspires Himalayan trek for charity

Ellen Crossley is preparing to climb the Himalayan Annapurna in aid of the Genesis Research trust after her daughter, Tanith Macleod suffered complications after the birth of her eldest son, Sebastian, also pictured with her 22 month old son, Tobias.
Ellen Crossley is preparing to climb the Himalayan Annapurna in aid of the Genesis Research trust after her daughter, Tanith Macleod suffered complications after the birth of her eldest son, Sebastian, also pictured with her 22 month old son, Tobias.
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A GRAN whose daughter became seriously ill after the birth of her first child has been inspired to take a Himalayan hike to help save the lives of others.

Retired nurse Ellen Crossley will spend up to seven hours a day climbing the Annapurnas in Nepal for the Genesis Research Trust.

The 52-year-old, from Boldon Colliery, signed up to the six-day challenge after the lives of her daughter, two grandsons and nephew were threatened by conditions the charity helps prevent, diagnose and treat.

Her daughter, Tanith MacLeod, 29, a waitress at The Barnes and former St Anthony’s School student, had a healthy pregnancy while expecting Sebastian, now 21 months, but became seriously ill after he was born at Sunderland Roya Hospital.

She had surgery to free the placenta, which had been retained, developed a blood clot and was rushed back to hospital four days after the labour suffering from epilepsy.

She had not had the condition before pregnancy, but had five fits in the six months afterwards.

Ellen said: “Sebastian was her first child. What should have been the best time of her life was one of the most frightening and stressful.

“The doctors advised against her being alone with her baby and for the first month she had to have someone with her all the time.”

Throughout Tanith’s pregnancy with second son, Tobias, seven weeks, health concerns meant she was closely monitored and despite early signs of pre-eclampsia, Tobias was safely delivered.

Ellen’s nephew Edward, 19, who lives in London, was born three months prematurely which led to severe cerebral palsy and blindness.

“It’s staggering to think that despite the countless medical breakthroughs there have been over the years there are as many miscarriages, premature and stillbirths today as there were in the 1920s,” said Ellen, who is married to Jim and also has another grandson.

“I think that like me, most people will know someone who has experienced one of the conditions it is working to prevent and, hopefully, agree it is a really worthwhile cause.”

The charity also researches conditions including cervical and ovarian cancers, genetic diseases and infertility.

Ellen will take part in the climb in September next year and needs to raise at least £3,200.

She hosted a race night at the Travelling Man pub in Boldon last night.

Her son James MacLeod, 30, is running the Great North Run for the charity, and daughter Ciara Crossley, 16, is to fund-raise with the help of St Joseph’s School in Hebburn when she returns to study A-levels next term.

Other family members are also helping to collect cash to boost the fund.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Ellen can donate by visiting {http://www.via justgiving.com/EllenCrossley|www.via justgiving.com/EllenCrossley|Click here to donate}

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham