On 1st February this year, Rachel and I were rewarded with the most amazing gift: our son, Isaac Maxwell Brodie, the most precious and beautiful baby boy. We feel blessed to have known him and to have spent eighteen miraculous days with him.
Exercise is, as many of you know, not something I do often, so a half marathon, for me, is a little bit ridiculous. But Isaac has inspired me, as he has so many others.
Isaac was born with a mass on his brainstem that we remain bewildered by. All we know is that it was untreatable and incurable, so from the day he was born we lived with most intense fear that each day would be our last with him. The day after he was born we went to Great Ormond Street where the doctors searched and searched for a solution, but it was not to be. In their opinion, the ventilator that he was on was keeping him alive. Despite this, we made it our mission to stay as positive as possible, remaining hopeful for the best at all times and enjoying every precious second with our brave little boy.
We left GOSH and went to the hospice where Isaac had his ventilator removed. We were terrified but against all odds he fought for his life, and was able to breathe on his own for six whole days. He was a true champion and extraordinarily brave, and I will take on this half marathon with the determination and fighting spirit that Isaac showed us every day.
Every day that we had with Isaac was a blessing and the staff at GOSH and Haven House hospice helped to make that possible, doing everything they could to give us the ability to live as 'normally' as we could with him. The care that we received throughout Isaac's short life was absolutely wonderful, and it's hard to put into words just how much of a difference this made to us, transforming an absolutely impossible time into something bearable and, at times, truly incredible.
There is a day that, for us, has become one of the best days of our lives. While staying at the hospice, we went for a walk to the nearby shops and had a cup of coffee while passers-by doted on him as we sat outside in the sunshine. The Hospice provided us the tools (oxygen, feeding tubes etc) and the knowledge to use them that allowed us to venture out with our hero - our first, and only, family outing.
Haven House hospice provided us with a real home for the six days that we were with them. They gave us accommodation, ordered kosher food for us and supported all our needs so that they could make us as comfortable as possible. We were able to concentrate on Isaac 100% of the time knowing that there were nurses on call in the next room if we needed them.
The most important gift of all was the confidence and ability they gave us to make sure our little soldier was comfortable and relaxed at all times during those difficult final days. We were able to spend Isaac's last hours together, holding him close, singing to him, praying for him and making sure he knew he was loved more than anything as he made his ultimate journey.
We owe Haven House hospice and their amazing staff so much. I hope that we can raise enough money to be able to support many more families as they experience their own difficult times. We hope that this is just the start of our fundraising efforts but please, please dig deep for this wonderful charity and help us to make a difference in Isaac's memory.