Derbyshire mum joins marathon charity push to thank hospital staff for triplets' care The brave mum of two triplets who spent more than five months in hospital after their baby sister passed away will take on the nation's capital for Sheffield Hospitals Charity. Joanne Gray's daughters Alice, Emily and Lucy - who were conceived naturally - all weighed less than a pound each when she gave birth to them three and a half years ago. Sadly Lucy did not survive, but after an agonising fight for survival, Alice and Emily are now healthy pre schoolers, prompting Joanne to raise charity cash for the neonatal unit as a thank you to the doctors and nurses who saved their lives. She said: “At 24weeks gestation I was rushed to a local hospital, where lots doctors and nurses were waiting for me to come in. I was then given the heart breaking news that there was only two heartbeats. “The next day I had an emergency caesarean section. Unfortunately Lucy had passed away and Alice and Emily were so tiny that they were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Jessop Wing straight away. The doctors and nurses said that their aim was to get us home with two babies, but they could make us no promises as they had so many medical problems. “We were given a room so we could be right there with them. I can’t explain the heart ache and emotional upset that not being able to hold my babies for several months caused. The girls had numerous medical issues which tested the expertise of the nurses and doctors who worked so hard to keep the girls alive. “As well as looking after them, they also looked after me and my partner, David – not just making sure we were ok, but trying to make us smile. I remember one nurse saying she was going to take the girls to feed some ducks in the night. In other words, they would be playing while mummy and daddy tried to get some rest. “While all this was going on, Lucy had a lovely pink funeral thank you to the support of our family and friends, who got us through it. “Alice and Emily eventually came home on supplementary oxygen after twenty one weeks in hospital – and a year after they were finally strong enough that they no longer needed the oxygen. They are now three and a half and thriving. They sometimes get out of breath quickly when running around, but on the whole the girls have come such a long way. They bring us so much joy and are so loving, clever and cheeky - but bring us so much happiness. “This will be the first time I have taken part in the London Marathon. I entered the ballot because as a family, I know first-hand how important the funds raised by local supporters for NICU are, they provide important things like parent accommodation, premature baby clothes – even support staff. When I heard that I’d won the ballot I was so excited because I wanted to run for a cause so close to my heart.” Sheffield Hospitals Charity opened a ballot to win a place in this year’s London Marathon, which will be held in April. Joanne, aged 40, landed the place, as she bids to raise more than £2,000 for the NICU at the Jessop Wing. To sponsor Joanne, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoGray1 or to undertake your own sponsored run for the Jessop Wing call 0114 226 7351.