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Mother of ‘3 little miracles’ triplets carries Olympic torch

26 July 2012

A grateful mother who helped raise £250,000 for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to thank the doctors and nurses who saved the lives of her prematurely born triplets carried the Olympic torch along the Kings Road in Chelsea today.

Photo (top): The Colliers in December 2009 following their donation of £250,000 to Chelsea and Westminster

Photo (right): Anna runs with the Olympic torch

A grateful mother who helped raise £250,000 for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to thank the doctors and nurses who saved the lives of her prematurely born triplets carried the Olympic torch along the Kings Road in Chelsea today.

Anna Collier was nominated to carry the torch by hospital staff to thank her and husband Andrew for their amazing fundraising efforts.

Anna and Andrew co-founded the 3 Little Miracles Fund to buy incubators, ventilators and other vital medical equipment to help save the lives of other sick and premature babies cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Their triplets, identical twin girls Isabel and Emily and their brother Ben, were born 3 months early in January 2006. They all weighed less than 3lbs at birth and spent more than 100 days at Chelsea and Westminster fighting for their lives but are now happy and healthy 6-year-olds.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is designated as a Level 3 centre which means it provides the very highest level of medical and surgical care for more than 500 sick and very premature babies from all over London, the South East and further afield every year.

Anna says: “To carry the torch through Chelsea, close to the hospital where the triplets were born, was humbling and incredibly emotional for me and my family.

“Carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of London, my home town, was an amazing honour and something I will always cherish.”

Dr Gary Hartnoll, the Consultant Neonatologist who treated the triplets during their 3 months on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, says: "Anna and Andrew’s incredible fundraising efforts enabled us to buy state-of-the-art medical equipment to save the lives of more babies.

"For example, the 4 new incubators we were able to buy enable our surgeons to carry out surgical procedures without taking the baby out of the incubator which reduces the risk of infection and other complications."

The 3 Little Miracles Fund has had high profile celebrity support from the likes of its patron, former British Lions rugby star Tim Rodber, and BBC sports presenter John Inverdale who hosted a gala ball which raised more than £115,000 alone.

Having raised the initial £250,000 for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the charity has gone on to raise a further £100,000 to purchase life-saving incubators for other hospitals.