At the start of 2019 my dad went in for heart valve reconstruction surgery which we all expected to take him out of action for a few days. . The surgery itself was a huge success but we were not prepared for what would happen next. They had some trouble removing a tube from his neck and we were advised they would need to be kept in an induced coma in recovery for a bit longer than expected.

Over the next few days he was kept in the coma within the Intensive Care Unit and we weren't seeing much improvement, we were then informed that he'd picked up an infection and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The team at the hospital got him on the correct medication, he seemed to start improving and they tried to wake him up but every time they tried to wake him up he was struggling to much and was put back into a coma.

Unfortunately the infection had spread to the blood and dad was then diagnosed with Sepsis. It was getting hard to take that he’d been in the ICU for over 2 weeks and was in a worse condition than when he arrived. The light at the end of the tunnel was getting smaller and smaller, the closer we got, the further away it seemed. After being on a dialysis machine for a few days and new medication we still weren’t seeing the improvement we were expecting.

The team of doctors made a decision to perform a Tracheostomy which was a procedure to remove the breathing apparatus from the mouth and insert them directly into the windpipe. From this moment onward the infection began to clear, the lungs started emptying the fluid that had built up and he continued to get better and better by the day.

After just over 3 weeks he was finally awake and responding with little hand movements and trying to mouth words, we got the confirmation that he could move from the ICU to the High Dependency ward, it was still risky times but hope had been restored to everyone. Over the next couple of weeks he gradually got the ability to talk and walk back again. Finally after 42 days we got the call to say that we could bring him home.

The months since dad has been home have still been incredibly difficult for him and still needs to attend hospital weekly due to the amount of damage his body sustained whilst in hospital and the recovery will take up to 2 years. As a family we can’t thank the hospital enough for the care they provided keeping him going and the ongoing support my dad continues to receive.

We were lucky enough to have a happy ending to our story, I want to give something back to the hospital to say thank you for the incredible team of nurses and doctors that worked so tirelessly to support dad and us as a family over the duration of his time at Harefield Hospital, also with more funding the hospital can help more people on a successful journey to a better life.

I wanted to take on a big challenge that will test me mentally and physically. I came up with the idea of doing 30 half marathon’s in 30 days! Why 30? That to signify the number of days dad was in ICU and HDU. So from Saturday 5th October 2019 the challenge will be on.

Any money you can spare will be greatly appreciated and will make a big difference to somebody’s life. Most of the runs will be around Marlow, Bourne End, Cookham, Maidenhead and Uxbridge but will also be taking in a few around Windsor, York and Harefield so if anyone fancies joining in for part of or all of a run then the company will be greatly appreciated. Just message me and I’ll send you the agenda.

It's been hard enough just training to get myself into a position to even attempt this but I feel like I'm ready to take this on. The rules are pretty simple, I have 30 days to complete 30 half marathons and for the run to count the run has to be completed in under 2 hours 38 minutes. Alex Barclay