On the 4th of April 2012, Si's wife gave birth to their twin boys, Alex and Ben. They were born at 29 weeks, having developed a severe condition occurring in only a few identical twin pregnancies.
The boys were very sick when they were born and were immediately admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Georges Hospital in London. Alex and Ben spent a total of 35 days on the Unit, they defied all odds and exceeded all expectations. When they left hospital they were still 6 weeks premature. Despite the relative speed of their recovery and discharge, a conservative estimate of the cost of their stay in hospital is over £80,000.
First Touch is the charity attached to to the Neonatal Unit at St Georges Hospital. They fund specialist staff, support families during their stay, and purchase equipment for the unit. First Touch funded much of the equipment used to save the twins' lives, and provided Si and his wife with vital emotional support during their stay.
While we will never be able to repay the debt Si owes the NHS for the health of the twins (they are now thriving) but we hope to at least show our appreciation.
The Marathon des Sables (MdS) is a 250km, multi stage ultra-marathon run over 6 days in the Sahara Desert. We have to be totally self sufficient and carry all our kit and food for the duration of the race. Day time temperatures will reach 45 degrees. Water and a tent is the only support provided.
We have each done long, crazy races in the past, between us we have completed 4 Ironman triathlons and over 30 marathons, but this is by far the hardest race we have ever attempted. The MdS is regarded as the toughest foot race on earth, and we are genuinely quite scared.
The twins will be one year old on 4th April 2013, the day we leave for the desert, it will be a fitting closure to a very emotional year for Si and his wife. We hope that with your generous donations we will in some way be able to show our thanks to St Georges Neonatal Unit.