I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to run the 2024 London Marathon in aid of TOFS (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula Support).
In April 2023 my partner Jade and I welcomed the latest addition to our family. James took us all by surprise, not only because he arrived a month early but also because he was born with a rare condition called Oesophageal Atresia with Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (OA/TOF). The condition meant that his oesophagus hadn’t developed properly and rather than extending from his mouth to his stomach, the top portion ended in a pouch in his throat, whilst the lower part had become attached to his trachea. As the seriousness of the situation sank in, we suddenly found ourselves wondering if he would make it through the night.
James underwent surgery at one day old and was kept paralysed in a coma for ten days whilst he recovered from the procedure. We remained in the hospital for two months whilst we gradually built up his oral feeds and the consultants monitored his progress. The entire team at Alder Hey were incredible, from the life-saving surgeons to the nurses that supported us day-in, day-out. They quickly directed us to TOFS as the best place to seek advice and guidance on how best to look after James and build our own knowledge about the condition. TOFS are an amazing charity that work to help those born with OA/TOF live long and healthy lives, and we feel very fortunate to be able to lean on them as we negotiate the challenging years ahead.
I know that times are tough for many at the moment but if you can spare anything at all to help this brilliant charity, and also keep me motivated on my cold, dark training runs this winter, I’d be hugely grateful! Thank you for your support x