The founder of a charity which has helped hundreds of premature babies in the West Midlands was named fund-raiser of the year at a national ceremony celebrating remarkable people.
Judy Ledger launched Baby Lifeline 29 years ago after losing three premature babies in a bid to save other mothers and their newborn babies from the same fate.
She was presented with her Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award after she was chosen by judges including Simon Cowell and Adrian Chiles.
“It was very surreal, it overwhelmed me completely,” she said. “When I heard some of the other winners’ stories I actually felt a bit undeserving.
“Losing a baby that you have seen and held is indescribable. The only way I could cope was to turn my tragedy into something positive and that’s what I’ve been doing over the years.”
Now a mother-of-three, she has raised almost £9 million since launching her charity, which has paid for vital neo-natal equipment for hospitals including Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.
Money raised has also funded research and training for medics. The Pride of Britain awards ceremony will be screened on ITV1 tonight.
Last month Judy topped the country’s Alternative Rich List. The award is voted for by the public and recognises “true heroes whose wealth is measured not in pounds and pennies but in the way they enrich others’ lives through their actions”.
She also travelled to Dublin after Baby Lifeline became the first English winner at the Irish Healthcare Awards.