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Zombie running couple raising money for children’s hospital

Emma (28) and husband David (28) live in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. They come from a close knit family, and when their niece Sophie was born prematurely in 2014 and needed specialist medical treatment from the G4 paediatric surgical ward, they all banded around.

As a way to say thank you for saving Sophie’s life, the couple are taking on the Great South Run on 25 October for Southampton Hospital Charity, dressed as zombies.

They have both been training hard. David works for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary so most of his training has been done on the flight deck, and Emma has managed to lose four stone in preparation for the 10 mile run.

Emma comments: “Our niece Sophie Marie Arthur was born 10 February 2014 at only 29 weeks, so she arrived 11 weeks early. Right from the start Sophie was a fighter and amazed us all with her quick progress and weight gain. 

Her parents were delighted, if not shocked, to be greeted by their daughter so soon. Being born so early into this world presented its own risks, and Sophie needed specialist medical care from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). Whilst under this care, Sophie subsequently required three surgical operations.” 

Southampton Children’s Hospital is major centre for specialist paediatric services in the south of England, providing acute specialist care not only to our local population in Southampton but for a much larger area, including the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

The G4 children’s surgery ward is a 14 bed ward which caters for both district and tertiary surgical care.

Emma adds: “My husband and I can only speak from an aunt and uncles point of view in which during this difficult time we wanted to be able to help and support Sophie and her parents so much more than we were able to. We made a promise that as Sophie got better, to give back to the ward and hospital where she spent a substantial part of her first year.

We strongly feel the reason she is here with us today is due to her parents and the medical care she received at the G4 ward.  

Having just celebrated Sophie's first birthday we have committed ourselves to the Great South Run! We didn't want to just raise money the easy way, we wanted to be taken seriously, meaning we both had to undergo crucial training and a lifestyle change. 

Initially neither of us were strong enough to run 10 miles, but we have been training, and no matter how hard it is, it won't be as difficult as the battle Sophie has already overcome. 

Sophie is now a picture of health and amazes us everyday. We couldn't be happier to do this for her, the G4 children's surgical ward, and her parents.

You can sponsor the Millard’s here: 

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