'Running the London Marathon in memory of my son Isaac'

21 April 2017

Darren Smith ran the 2017 London Marathon in memory of his son, Isaac who was treated at Evelina London.

smiling runner, darren smith, wearing for isaac labeled top during marathon
Darren Smith running 2017 London Marathon in memory of his son, Isaac

‘I’m running the London Marathon this year in memory of my son Isaac who passed away in the NICU at St Thomas's on 1 August 2012.'

'He'd fought very hard for six days after a placenta abruption whilst we were at a hospital in North London. He was transferred to NICU only a few hours old and the amazing team at St Thomas' and the Evelina did all they could for him to make him comfortable, put him through pioneering treatment to try to limit further brain damage, but sadly aged 6 days, with the results showing quite how severe his brain damage was, our consultant made the decision to turn off his life support.

‘At the time, despite how tragic the circumstances were and how brave and strong our little boy had been to fight to survive, we were amazed by the quality and skills of the staff that looked after us, and this has continued in the four years since his death. We used Evelina London’s bereavement counselling services for a number of years and are still in touch with the nurses and consultants that looked after us all so well in our time at the hospital.

‘After his death we pledged that we would raise money in his memory for the Evelina London and in the four and a half years that have followed people have taken part in numerous events in memory of Isaac, including marathons, half marathons, colour runs, obstacle runs, a skydive, an abseil, a birthday event each year and even a ukulele concert in 2016.

‘In that time we have raised just over £35,000 in his name through our site, Running for Isaac, as well as running a blog to try to show people just what it's like to go through the tragedy of losing a child. It's very much a taboo subject so, as well as raising the money hopefully we are able to raise awareness of the amazing work done at Evelina London as well as break the very difficult taboo of losing a child. We have also now become Fundraising Ambassadors for Evelina London, and look forward to attending many inspiring events showing how special Evelina London is.

'This will be my second time running the London Marathon. I ran it back in 2013, eight months after Isaac died, but training has been dreadful this time so it’s going to take a very long time to get round, but with Isaac there with me every step of the way I'm sure I will get round, hopefully before the after party finishes.'

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