Mum tackles half-marathon to say thanks to charity

A mother will be taking on this year's Great North Run in aid of a charity which has helped her one-year-old son.
Sammi Shepherd and her son Joshua.Sammi Shepherd and her son Joshua.
Sammi Shepherd and her son Joshua.

Samantha Shepherd, known as Sammi, has entered the famous half-marathon in September to raise cash for The Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).

The charity aims to keep the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, at the forefront of children’s cardiac care by raising money to buy equipment, facilities, aftercare, pay salaries and research for its children’s heart unit.

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And in Sammi’s own words, her beloved son Joshua would not be here today if it was not for the work of CHUF.

Sammi, who is a member of Alnwick’s Real Fitness gym, said: “Last year, at five months old, Joshua was diagnosed with a heart condition and required major heart surgery at the Freeman, where he stayed within the children’s heart unit ward while preparing for surgery, and during his recovery.

“Without the facilities and equipment available through the funding of CHUF, Joshie would not be here today. Words can not begin to describe how grateful and thankful we all are.

“CHUF provided the funds for the ventilator Joshua required during his time in the intensive care unit.

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“CHUF aided the creation of the children’s playroom and a baby sensory room for all the children/babies staying in the ward, so they could have time away from their hospital beds and continue developing and recovering.

“CHUF supplied all the parents/guardians with essential items that you may require when you’re away from home unexpectedly.

“Even now we have continual support from CHUF, providing facilities and equipment for regular check-ups to track Joshie’s progress.”