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Teacher running to raise money in memory of pupil

Teacher Laura Tovey is taking on the gruelling 26.2miles in the Brighton marathon in memory of pupil Olivia Winter, 10, who died last year.

Laura comments: “I am a teacher at Heathfield Special School in Fareham. I've worked there for  eight years as a student volunteer initially, and now as a fully qualified teacher. I love my job as you get to see the children learn and grow as they progress through the school." 

"Tragically, last September one of our pupils passed away due to complications after heart surgery. Olivia had supraventricular tachycardia (an abnormally high heart rhythm) and hypo plastic left heart syndrome (a rare congenital heart defect in which the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped).”

“Olivia was life and soul of any party. She'd bounce into school every morning with barely a backward glance, but come home time she was always thrilled to bits to see her mum waiting at the door. Every single member of staff knew Olivia, whether she was in their class or not due to her inquisitive nature and always asking her favourite question - what you doing?”

“As a school we were devastated when Olivia died. As she was always so happy we had grown complacent and forgotten how complicated her medical needs were. She passed away around 5 months ago, yet the loss still feels as real now as it did then. I cannot imagine how much worse it must be for her family.”

“Olivia was in my class and I'm not ashamed to admit her death hit me hard. I felt I wanted to do something to say thank you to the E1 ward at Southampton General Hospital who worked tirelessly throughout Olivia's ten short years to ensure she was the happy little girl we all knew and loved.”

“Olivia's mum, Sandra, keeps in contact with us at school and has kindly allowed me to share Olivia's story in order to raise as much as I could for the ward. She said she wanted people to know her name and see her beautiful smiling face.”

If you have been moved by this story then you can donate to Laura Tovey’s Just Giving page:

All of the Southampton Hospital Charity running places have now been booked for the Brighton marathon, however we still have places for the Great South Run if you are looking for a challenge.

Great South Run 2014 Application Form Great South Run poster 2014 FINAL

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