“Not only have they saved Esmée’s life, but they also looked after us so well.”

A group of nine friends and family members have signed up to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks to say thank you for the care of 6-year-old Esmée from Rotherham.

A group of nine friends and family members have signed up to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks in support of The Children’s Hospital Charity to say thank you for the care of 6-year-old Esmée from Rotherham.

In December 2022, Esmée’s mum Betty received a phone call from her school saying that she needed to be collected, as she was complaining of a tummy ache. Esmée was vomiting, unable to keep fluids down, and she had blood in her urine.

Following an initial visit to their local hospital, later that week their local pharmacist advised they should call 999. When the paramedics arrived, the decision was made to take Esmée to the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s.

When she arrived, urine samples were taken, and blood tests were done. The results came back and showed that her kidneys had failed. Esmée was then taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sheffield Children’s, where she was sedated, ventilated and put on dialysis.

Betty said: “It was a very scary and horrific time for us but the consultant was so reassuring and professional, so we knew we were in good hands.”

With support from specialists from Nottingham and Newcastle, Esmée was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease called Atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS). With this condition, antibodies start to attack your cells, which can affect any organ in the body. In Esmée’s case, it was her kidneys; but after diagnosis she was able to access the life-saving medication Eculizumab. Within days she was able to be taken off filtration while in Sheffield and was transferred to Nottingham to a regular ward.

Esmée was eventually discharged on the 23 December, and was able to have a wonderful Christmas at home with the family. She is now back at school full time and has been able to restart swimming and football lessons. She continues to receive the life-saving medicine every two weeks, and the family are learning how to live with her condition.

Following Esmée’s care, the family were looking for a way to give back when they heard that family friends Martin and Kirsty were taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in support of Sheffield Children’s.

Betty said: “We initially called them crazy until we decided to be crazy too! Then some of our friends and family decided to join us and we are now a team of nine! The group chat is filled with links of walking boots, screenshots of the walks we are doing and any training tips for this amazing challenge.”

The walkers have dubbed themselves ‘Team Esmée’ and have received donations from friends, family, local football groups and even aHUS patients from as far afield as the USA. They have already raised over £4000, to say thank you for Esmée’s care.

The Children’s Hospital Charity has run the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge since 2021, and on Saturday 22 July, supporters of Sheffield Children’s will take on the 25-mile trek once again. They will aim to complete the challenge within 12 hours to become part of the ‘Three Peaks of Yorkshire Club'.

Events Fundraising Assistant, Phoebe Marriott, is excited to support the trekkers this year.

She said: “Yorkshire Three Peaks is a really special event and it is amazing to see people take on such a big challenge. We are so grateful for the support of Team Esmée; their fundraising will help Sheffield Children’s to continue providing incredible care for children and young people.”

Betty is excited to take on the challenge to give back for the care Esmée received.

She said: “Not only have they saved Esmée’s life, but they also looked after us so well and were amazing support during such a traumatic time.”

To support Team Esmée’s fundraising, visit their page here.

To join them sign-up for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge yourself.