10 weeks ago our world collapsed around us. My Mum was found with severe sepsis after being ill over a weekend, with what we thought was just a bad case of the flu. She was treated in Wycombe ITU and after two weeks they found the cause of the infection was coming from her metal heart valves (that she had replaced 19 years prior) and she would need open heart surgery to have them replaced. Mum was transferred to Harefield Hospital and was sent for further tests, which revealed she also has Bowel Cancer.

Mum had her heart surgery on December 21 and I am not exaggerating when I say that, without the world class surgeons and nurses at Harefield, she would not be here today. Their expertise and innovative technology rightly make them the best heart specialist hospital in the country, if not the world and we cannot thank them enough for all they have done.

Over the past 10 weeks we have seen the wonders of the NHS and the staff who hold it together... especially the nurses who work tirelessly (and without much money or praise), to provide the most amazing care and support.

For us, we still have a massive battle to face with the bowel cancer but our Mum remains to be the biggest fighter and strongest person ever. She’s our hero and has been nothing but positive and strong despite all that’s been thrown at her.

I am running the London Landmarks Half Marathon as it’s my (very) small way to say thank you, and to help raise money for Harefield Hospital to help save more lives.

- Claire

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