Dad takes on virtual London Marathon inspired by 'miracle boy' son
- Credit: Societi
A St Albans runner is taking on the huge challenge of running the virtual Virgin London Marathon, in aid of a charity that is literally close to his family's heart.
Dave Oh is running a 26.2 mile course for Societi - the UK Foundation for acquired heart disease in children - and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Dave's challenge is inspired by his son Jayden, who has spent his life battling Kawasaki disease.
The disease is fatal in up to three per cent of cases if not treated, and about a quarter of all children affected will go on to have lifelong heart damage.
Jayden - now 13 - was the first child in Hong Kong to ever undergo a triple heart bypass, aged just five years old.
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He endured 10 hours of surgery and 12 days in intensive care, where he was hooked up to a mechanical pump, as his heart was not strong enough to function on its own.
“It was the toughest time of our lives,” Dave explained. “We were lingering around the ICU every day praying for his heart to resume. After a week of ups and downs, his heart was working again.”
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Dave and his family returned to the UK in August 2014, and Jayden continued his treatment and care at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“The doctors, nurses, consultants and every single staff member at GOSH have been and continue to make us feel at ease and always strive to ensure Jayden has the best care," Dave said.
He explained how proud he is of his son: "[He] has shown such courage over the years despite the constant hospital visits, daily anti heart failure medication and uncertainty. He has overcome so many obstacles and endured more pain than many will have to in a lifetime – he is and always will be our miracle boy.”
Both Dave and Meko have dedicated their life to raising awareness of Kawasaki disease, so other children don’t have to go through what their son did.
Rachael McCormack, founder of Societi, the UK Kawasaki Disease Foundation, said: “We are beyond grateful to Dave and all his incredibly generous friends and family – who have donated to Societi Foundation.
"Charities are facing the toughest of times just now with so much of our usual fundraising stopped or delayed. Societi relies solely on donations to continue its vital work to protect children’s hearts. Their generous donations really will help to protect tiny hearts."