By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
A Peterborough grandad is taking on a half marathon for the first time in 27 years in support of The Sick Children’s Trust to thank them for keeping his daughter by her baby’s hospital bedside.
Ian Booty, 65, will be taking on the Great Eastern Run to raise £500 for The Sick Children’s Trust which gave his daughter, Claire, and her partner, Antony, a place to stay close to their daughter’s hospital bedside. Little Ava, now two, was resuscitated just minutes after being born. Once doctors had stabilised her she was rushed to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge. Once there, Ava underwent lifesaving cooling treatment which saw her body temperature medically reduced to that of a refrigerator in order to save her life. Ian, a retired retail worker, said:
“I vividly remember the call telling us Ava had arrived but things weren’t good and that we needed to get there as soon as possible. Our first concern was Ava as she was struggling to breathe but we quickly realised that Claire was in trouble having lost a lot of blood herself. Something serious happening to your kids or grandkids is your worst nightmare. It’s something that never leaves you.
“Peterborough City Hospital didn’t have the specialists on hand to care for Ava, so she was rushed to Cambridge where we waited for her condition to improve. She hadn’t drawn breath for three minutes when she was born so we were prepared for the worst case scenario. But every day we visited her in the incubator and I had a good feeling that she would pull through. No parent with a seriously ill child in hospital should have to worry about how they can be by their side and thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust, Claire could always be together with Ava. That helped her to stay positive. She would regularly say to me ‘everything’s going to be ok dad, it will take a while but it’s going to be ok’.
“That belief came true. To look at Ava now you would have no idea what she went through. She’s a happy, naughty, bubbly little girl. Claire, along with the rest of our family, are forever grateful to those that helped them.”
While Ava was in hospital, her family were always just minutes away from her side being supported at The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Chestnut House, located just below the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Claire ran the Great Eastern Run last year to thank The Sick Children’s Trust and now Ian will be following in her footsteps. Ian added:
“I used to do a lot of running when I was younger, completing the London marathon twice and doing a number of half marathons, so I know I can complete the Great Eastern Run. I haven’t ran long distance for 27 years but I’ve wanted to get back into it for a while, so it was now or never.
“So far I have completed a nine mile run and I’m looking to get up to 11 miles in the coming weeks which should put me in a good position to complete this challenge. I’ve been training two to three times a week as well as cycling so I’m feeling confident. I would love to complete the run in 2 hours but I was told its not strength or stamina that you lose with age its speed so I’m not going to fixate on it too much, it’s all about getting round and raising money for this amazing charity.”
It costs The Sick Children’s Trust £30 to support a family for one night. £30 gives a family so much more than just a roof over their heads when their child is in hospital. £30 gives them someone to talk to, and a calm place to rest with their family. Chestnut House Manager Abigail Abdel-aal said:
“We were incredibly grateful to Claire for fundraising for us and we would like to give Ian an extra special thank you for taking on this challenge for us, especially because of the length of time since his last run! The money raised from Ian’s incredible efforts will allow us to keep more families together in a ‘Home from Home’ when their seriously ill child is in hospital. We are extremely grateful for Ian’s support and wish him good luck!”
To donate to Ian, visit his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-booty1
For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, please visit sickchildrenstrust.org