In honour of my son Elliott, who was on life support for 14 months before receiving a heart transplant, I am fundraising for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital throughout 2016. My main events will be
- Sherfield Park to Great Ormond Street 72 mile run (with Sherfield Park Runners) - 28th May 2016 (Completed in a running time of 13hrs 08mins 19secs)
- Endure24 (24hour solo running event) - 11th June 2016 (Completed 45 miles before retiring with a knee injury).
- North Downs Way 100 (102.9 mile ultra marathon) - 6th August 2016
Elliott is a long term patient at GOSH, waiting for a heart transplant on life support for over a year. We owe his life to the dedicated care of the medical professionals. Saying thank you just doesn't seem enough.
After suffering neonatal collapse shortly after birth, Elliott was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. He struggled through the first year of his life on a cocktail of medicines before suffering complete heart block at Christmas 2014. A pacemaker allowed Elliott to return home for several weeks before his heart finally failed and he was admitted to GOSH and place on a Berlin Heart while he awaits for an opportunity for transplant.
A Berlin Heart is a mechanical pump that carries out the work of the heart and is a bridge to transplant. While there are many daily risks, the Berlin Heart has afforded Elliott a quality of life never before enjoyed before it was fitted. He is continuously happy and our days are full of smiles and laughter. We live day to day and have no idea of what the future holds. We have kissed Elliott goodbye more times than we care to remember so we focus on the here and now and enjoy every moment we have with Elliott.
I will always remember when he was first diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. His doctor described it as a heart disease that makes his heart work at an intensity like it is running a marathon for every second of every day. The least I could do is put myself in a similar situation for a few hours in his honour and for a good cause.
3 months ago Elliott was lucky enough to receive his call of a new life and a new heart. Our dreams came true when Elliott finally was discharged to continue his life at home. The euphoria we felt was indescribable. To return home and enjoy the level of normality others take for granted was like winning the lottery for us.
My first main event of 2016 will be to run 75 miles from Sherfield Park, where we live, to Great Ormond Street Hospital, a tribute to the journey made by Elliott. This run has been made possible thanks to the excellent support of my running club Sherfield Park Runners, who have provided great support throughout the last year and have embraced this idea as a unique fundraising opportunity for GOSH. I will join other runners from Sherfield Park Runners who will be running from 10km to the full 75 miles like myself.
By donating, you are helping other families like ourselves, who owe their child's life to the medical professionals, technology and research supported by GOSH.
For more on Elliott's heart transplant journey, please visit https://www.facebook.com/LifeOnTheList/
For more information on Organ donation, please visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
For more information on Dilated Cardiomyopathy, please visit http://www.cardiomyopathy.org/
Thank you all for your support. It means more than we could ever express.