‘Run is my way of saying thank-you’

Bridget Hopwood warms up for the  OX5

Bridget Hopwood warms up for the OX5 Buy this photo

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by

A MUM watched in horror as a purple rash covered her son’s body.

Bridget Hopwood, from Judges Close, Kidlington, first thought her son Louis, nine, had meningitis when he was rushed to the Oxford Children’s Hospital five years ago.

But doctors discovered he had a rare auto-immune disorder which meant his body was attacking its own healthy body tissue.

As a thankyou for his care, Mrs Hopwood, a health services researcher, is taking part in the OX5 Run to raise money for the Headington hospital.

The 39-year-old said: “My three children were in the bath when Louis started complaining of a sore back.

“He was covered in a purple rash which appeared before my eyes.”

At first doctors didn’t know what was wrong with him because Henoch-Schönlein purpura is so rare.

She added: “All the doctors were interested in it. We were quite famous in the hospital — people were all coming to see us – doctors, medical students.”

After four days’ observation in hospital Louis made a full recovery.

The Oxford Times:

  • Bridget on holiday with husband David and children Holly, Charlie and Louis

Mrs Hopwood is running the five-mile charity run in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock on Sunday, March 30 and aims for more than £100.

She will be cheered on by husband David Hopwood, 44, and Louis’s brother and sister Charlie, 12 and Holly, five.

Mrs Hopwood has another reason to run after Holly had an operation at the hospital to fit grommets in her ears to help her hearing in July last year.

She said: “It was only a minor operation but it is scary leaving someone so young alone in an operating theatre.

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“But the staff are great and take care of parents as well as children.”

She joined Kidlington’s Taurus Roadrunners based in High Street and decided to take on the challenge to mark her 40th birthday on Monday.

She will run with mum Jackie Weaver, 65, from Summertown, Oxford, to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Children’s hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said: “It’s good to hear that Bridget’s son and daughter are doing well, and what a wonderful way to celebrate a landmark birthday.

“We now have 650 runners signed up which is fantastic at this stage.

The Oxford Times:

  • The children present her with a birthday cake

“But we still need more runners to help us raise as much money as we can for our young patients.

You can run, jog or walk the beautiful five-mile route at Blenheim, so do please sign up today.”

This year’s OX5 Run, which starts at 10.30am on Sunday, March 30, costs £10 to enter and runners are asked to aim to raise a minimum of £100.

To enter the event visit oxfordmail.co.uk/ox5run

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