St Albans mum runs London Marathon to thank hospital

Fran Cooper

Fran Cooper - Credit: Archant

A thankful St Albans mum pushed herself to the limit and finished this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for a cause close to her heart.

In 2015 Fran Cooper spent eight days in intensive care at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital after the problematic birth of her second son - she was diagnosed with an inflammatory condition called acute colitis.

For two years since then, Fran has trained at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre to build core strength, stamina and strength training.

She secured her place on the marathon last year in aid of the charity which helped her through the illness - the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Charitable Fund, in the Intensive Care and ?Gastroenterology ?Wards - but deferred to 2017 to focus on her health.

Fran said she loved running: “The atmosphere and crowds were amazing and running for such a personal cause carried me across the finish line.” Her time was four hours and 38 minutes.

She described her care at the hospital as “faultless”: “I was provided with one to one care and support from a named nurse around the clock, each and every one going out of their way to make me feel cared for and positive.

“Aside from the brilliant medical care they provided, despite the long hours the nurses worked, the emotional support they gave me at such a difficult time being separated from my new born was faultless.”

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She has currently raised more than £1,300, but is going to continue training and hopes to improve for the next challenge.

About 39,500 people ran the 26.2 mile race from Blackheath to Westminster this year - Paula Radcliffe is the fastest woman to have run the race in 2003 in 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 25 seconds.

This year, a Kenyan runner called Mary Keitany set a women-only world record of 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 1 second - this is 41 seconds faster than Paula Radcliffe’s woman-only record, which was set in 2005.

To donate to Fran’s cause, click here.