A grateful father whose five year old son required emergency lifesaving treatment shortly after he was born will be running the Brighton Marathon and then the Virgin Money London Marathon two weeks later to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Dad Daniel Roche, 31, from Leigh-On-Sea, will be taking on his first marathon on Sunday 14 April and his second on Sunday 28 April in a bid to raise £2,500 for The Sick Children’s Trust to thank the charity for giving him and partner Tara free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation when their son, Hayden, required lifesaving treatment miles away from home.
At just a few weeks old, Hayden was having problems keeping his feeds down and his worried parents took him to Southend University Hospital. Once there, the decision was made to transfer Hayden by ambulance to the Royal London Children’s Hospital in Whitechapel for specialist treatment. He was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, an uncommon condition that blocks food from entering the small intestine, and underwent emergency corrective surgery. Whilst Hayden recovered from the operation, the couple were told about The Sick Children’s Trust, which runs three ‘Homes from Home’ in London supporting families with seriously ill children in hospital. Daniel, who hopes to complete both marathons in three and a half hours, says:
“We were very worried when we arrived in London and were told that Hayden needed an operation to loosen the muscle causing the blockage between his stomach and his small intestine. Tara had travelled with him in the ambulance and I followed in the car, but we had no idea what we would do once we arrived. We wrongly assumed we would all be able to stay in the hospital together. Fortunately, that evening one of the nurses on the paediatric intensive care unit contacted The Sick Children’s Trust and we were offered a room by the charity at its Stevenson House.
“With our only child in hospital our whole world had been turned upside down, but thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust we were given our own room, just minutes from where Hayden was recovering from surgery. This meant we could be together as a family and both see Hayden at any time we wanted, day or night, without having to make the two hour round trip to and from the hospital.
“Since being supported by this amazing charity both Tara and I have wanted to give something back. I started running in July last year and, having completed several half marathons, decided to challenge myself with two full marathons two weeks apart to raise as much money as possible.”
Although Hayden recovered well from the operation and was discharged home after a week, he required a further hospital admission when he continued to vomit his feeds. Doctors at the Royal London Children’s Hospital diagnosed the baby with severe acid reflux and he was prescribed multiple medications, which he took daily for the first two years of his life. Thankfully, Hayden has made a full recovery and began school last September for the first time. Daniel continues:
“We feel very lucky to have been supported in free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation and understand that many other families do not have that opportunity. That’s why I would love to raise as much money as I can for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that recognises a family needs to be just minutes away from their seriously ill child. At a time when your life is in turmoil they offered us the opportunity to stay together as a family.”
Daniel is joining #TeamSCT this year and hopes to raise £2,500 to help the charity continue supporting families across its ten ‘Homes from Home’. He adds:
“I am really stuck into my training programme and up to 18 mile runs already. My fundraising drive is also going well. Even Hayden is helping me raise money to hit my target! The other week he loaded the golf balls onto the buggy when I was fishing them out of the pond at my local club. We collected 500 golf balls in three hours, which I was then able to sell back to the club for £50! I am confident that I will raise the £2,500 and complete both races.”
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. Stevenson House Manager, Deborah Leonard, says:
“We’re delighted to welcome Daniel on to #TeamSCT and know he is going to achieve his goal of completing two marathons in just two weeks!
“I’m so pleased we were able to support Hayden’s parents in Stevenson House. It means so much to us when families stay in touch and raise money years after being supported by the charity. I wish Daniel all the best with his fundraising and running and look forward to hearing how both the marathons go. It is certainly not a challenge for the faint hearted!”
To help Daniel reach his £2,500 target, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daniel-roche5?utm_id=25