A CAERPHILLY teenager has completed a mammoth challenge to raise money for a children’s hospital charity which helped her baby brother.

Carey Neale, 15 from Bedwas, raised more than £3,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity after they cared for little brother Leo when he had major surgery on his skull. 

Carey took on a challenge inspired by American ultra-runner David Goggins, which saw her run four miles every four hours for a total of 48 hours.

South Wales Argus: Carey Neale and little brother Leo. The Bedwas teenager ran the 4x4x48 challenge to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity after Leo received treatment and care there

Carey Neale and her brother Leo

This saw Carey do 12 four-mile runs in the space of two days. She found it was an extreme challenge, but one she was determined to do for her one-year-old brother.

She was inspired after the charity looked after Leo, who was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis at the age of eight months. Craniosynostosis is a rare condition which means the skull has not developed properly. In Leo’s case, the bones in his skull hadn’t fused correctly and had fused earlier than they should have – which gave his head an irregular shape.

Leo’s parents Leanne and Sam, who is Carey’s step-dad, had discussions with their local hospital and agreed for Leo to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where specialist surgeons would break apart his skull and piece it back together.

It was a stressful time for the family, but the operation was a success.


Leo spent five days in hospital and sister Carey would video call daily for a chat. She could see how well he was coping and recovering and was in awe at the care and treatment Leo had received as well as the help her mum and step-dad had with securing accommodation nearby and Carey wanted to say thank you to the hospital and help other children.

During the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, Carey had developed a love for running and decided to put her fitness to the test with the challenge. Her dad Scott provided company and support on her challenge.

South Wales Argus: Carey Neale. The Bedwas teenager ran the 4x4x48 challenge to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity after Leo received treatment and care there

Carey Neale

Carey said: “We were all really worried when Leo went to hospital, but when I could see how well he was doing after his operation, it made me want to do something to say thank you to all the staff who looked after him.

“I wanted to do something really big and push myself for the 4x4x48 challenge was perfect. By the middle of the second day, I started to feel really drained, but thinking about the hospital, and all of the poorly children who go through so much, really spurred me on. I even managed to push Leo over the finish line in his pushchair.”

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s head of public fundraising, Miranda Williams, said: “Having a sibling in hospital can be an extremely anxious and unsettling time, especially when they’re so far away, but we’re so glad Carey got to see Leo’s face as he recovered, and grateful that the experience inspired such an incredible challenge! We’re in awe of Carey’s determination and willpower.

“The funds she’s raised will go towards helping us do more for sick kids, just like Leo, and their families.”