Both our daughters were born prematurely, Ailla was 2 months early and Lana arrived a full 3 months before her due date. Lana’s first 6 months were particularly challenging, as she battled with chronic lung disease, heart surgery at 3 weeks old and a whole host of other complications that surround early birth.
Both girls received life-saving care from the NICU team at St Richards Hospital in Chichester, not to mention the exceptional ITU care Lana also received at Portsmouth and Southampton neo-natal units respectively.
Following the care that we have received for both girls, we feel forever indebted to the many teams that have helped our girls, but specifically so to the doctors and nurses at St Richards neo-natal unit in Chichester. My wife and I decided that we would both carry out personal challenges to help fundraise for the neo-natal unit, helping them to purchase more of the life-saving equipment that is so desperately needed. The NHS as we know is severely underfunded, so we wanted to do our bit to give back.
On a personal note.
I remember sitting in hospital with Alannah and thinking how tired she looked, and how physically demanding everything she was going through must be. In these situations, as a parent, your only wish is to take their pain and suffering away, you would assume it all if you could. At the time I made a promise to myself that should she pull through this ordeal, I would seek out an challenge that would push me close to the limits of my physical endurance, for a sustained period of time. This after all, is what Lana had endured for 3 months. Silly as it might seem, whilst I could not take her suffering away, part of me believed that if I committed to a challenge that would test me, then I could strike a deal with the universe to make her more comfortable - a kind of re-distribution of the negative energy and re-balancing of the situation. I guess it was my situational interpretation of ying and yang.
Both girls are now doing amazingly, so I guess it over to me to uphold my end of the deal …
This is where the OTILLO SwimRun race comes in.
A competitive 40 km of open water swimming and trail running - in and around the Isle of Scilly.
The heros that are WIll & Zoe Barrett, along with Tris Best have decided to embrace this challenge with me.
We have been training for 4 months, with 2 months to go. Yes, it hurts.
Let’s do this.