A doting dad is lacing up his trainers and getting ready to run the Brentwood Half Marathon on 18 March to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust as thanks for supporting his family with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation after his son was born seriously ill.
Tim Prosser, 40, from Basildon, is on a fundraising mission to thank the charity that kept him and his partner, Victoria, by their son’s hospital bedside when he needed lifesaving treatment at The Royal London Children’s Hospital.
When Jack was born he was starved of oxygen for ten minutes and was rushed from Southend University Hospital to The Royal London Children’s Hospital – miles from his family’s home in Essex. On arrival at the specialist paediatric hospital, Jack underwent emergency cooling treatment where his body temperature was reduced for 78 hours in an attempt to lower the risk of him suffering from any long-term brain damage. Whilst Jack was being treated his worried parents were given a room at Stevenson House, run by The Sick Children’s Trust, just minutes from their son’s little incubator. Dad Tim, a Probation Service Officer, says:
“Words can’t describe how distraught we were when Jack was born. We thought we were going to lose him. After a textbook pregnancy with no complications, it came as a complete shock to us. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Victoria had just undergone emergency surgery at Southend University Hospital and my son was being rushed away for treatment at The Royal London Hospital. It was the most traumatic experience of my life.
“When we were offered a room at Stevenson House suddenly everything felt so much more manageable and under control. Having a ‘Home from Home’ meant we could both be close to Jack, so we could help with his care and also feed him. It also meant we could be there for each other through what was such a distressing time. After having to undergo emergency surgery Victoria needed to rest and thanks to Stevenson House, just a few minutes away from where Jack was being treated, she was able to do so. If it wasn’t for the house we would have had to travel to and from home every day, which would have been both stressful and exhausting for her. Not having to travel every day to the hospital was a godsend.”
After three days of sedation, Jack’s condition began to improve and he made a remarkable recovery. The little boy, who is about to celebrate his fifth birthday, has inspired his dad to take on the marathon challenge. Tim, who hopes to raise £500 for The Sick Children’s Trust continues:
“Victoria and I both wanted to give something back to the charity that provided us with so much support when we needed it most. Although we make a donation every month, I wanted to try and do something a little more significant. I actually ran the Brentwood Half Marathon seven years ago. Although I wouldn’t call it ‘running’ – it took me over three hours to complete and I came ninth from last! I was really unfit.
“I started getting back into exercise in December 2016 and set myself a goal of completing a 10k race, mainly just to improve my health. It was only after Victoria’s passing comment that she bet I’d be able to complete a half marathon in a quicker time that I decided to enter the Brentwood Half once more. The training has been slow going recently however in the time I have left I think should be ready. I’m determined to make everyone proud, especially Jack, and raise as much money as possible.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, giving families with seriously ill children free accommodation just minutes from their child’s hospital bedside. The charity relies entirely on voluntary donations and it costs £30 to support a family for one night. Vicki Roots, Community Fundraising Officer at The Sick Children’s Trust, says:
“Everyone at The Sick Children’s Trust is thrilled to hear Jack has made a full recovery and is doing well after his very scary start to life. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tim for continuing to support The Sick Children’s Trust. The money he raises will make a huge difference and help support more families who need a ‘Home from Home’ when their child is seriously ill in hospital. We wish him the best of luck!”
To read more about Tim’s fundraising mission, please visit his fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tim-prosser1