Teen says 13 thanks to hospital
TEENAGER Kate Watson has proved that thirteen can be a lucky number after taking part in a triathlon to raise more than £1,000 for Ipswich Hospital.Thirteen years ago, on June 23 1989, Kate was born at the hospital 13 weeks premature, weighing in at a tiny 2lb 7oz.
By Nick Richards
TEENAGER Kate Watson has proved that thirteen can be a lucky number after taking part in a triathlon to raise more than £1,000 for Ipswich Hospital.
Thirteen years ago, on June 23 1989, Kate was born at the hospital 13 weeks premature, weighing in at a tiny 2lb 7oz.
But just one day after her thirteenth birthday, former Debenham girl Kate, who now lives in Dumfries in Scotland, took part in an epic triathlon to raise money for the hospital maternity unit.
Athletic Kate said: "I wanted to help raise money for the hospital as a thank-you to all those who helped me when I was so small. It was all my idea and I thought that as I was born 13 weeks premature and was coming up to my thirteenth birthday, this would be the ideal time to do it.
"I contacted the hospital and they said it was a great idea. I then started collecting from family and friends to raise money."
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The triathlon involved swimming 13 lengths of a 33 metre swimming pool in Dumfries, running 1,300 metres and cycling 13 miles.
Kate managed to do it all in two hours and 15 minutes and raised a total of £1,113 for the Special Care Baby Unit.
Proud Mum Judy, said: "It's a tremendous achievement when you consider that back in 1989 it was really touch and go. When she was born doctors said she only had a 20 per cent chance of surviving and after her birth doctors said she had a 50 per cent chance.
"She was on a ventilator for two to three days and in an incubator for six to seven weeks, so to see her doing this is fantastic. She wanted to help all the kids who are born premature and to repay the hospital in her own way."
Kate, who moved to Scotland in 1998 with her family, said the triathlon was hard work as she had been up late the night before.
"It was my thirteenth birthday so I was quite tired even before I started the swimming. When I finished it, I was very tired."
Staff at the hospital said they were delighted with the achievement and the money is to be spent on equipment for the baby unit.