Family are all committed to hospital run

The Oxford Times: Paula Thomas is running the OX5 for her daughter Harriet, inset, who has been a patient at the Oxford Children’s Hospital Buy this photo » Paula Thomas is running the OX5 for her daughter Harriet, inset, who has been a patient at the Oxford Children’s Hospital

THIRTY operations would be enough for anyone, let alone a 12-year-old girl.

But brave Harriet Thomas is a much happier and healthier child thanks to the team at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The staff helped care for Harriet after she was born with a rare skin condition which affects just one in 20,000 babies.

The condition, called Large and Multiple Congenital Melanocytic Naevus, meant Harriet had to go through a number of procedures and operations.

As a thank-you, Harriet, her mum Paula, and dad Andrew, from Yarnton, are taking part in the OX5 Run to raise funds for the children’s hospital.

Harriet’s 16-year-old brother Joseph will cheer them on from the sidelines.

The 11th charity run takes place at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, on Sunday, March 10.

Harriet underwent her first operation at the old Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, aged just five weeks.

She had her last few operations at the children’s hospital after it opened in 2007.

Mrs Thomas, a 43-year-old marketing communications assistant, said: “She has been in and out of hospital for 11 years. The results are amazing and have made a huge difference to Harriet’s life.

“The children’s hospital is such a brilliant place and the staff are incredible.

“Harriet is happy and loves her school, The Marlborough School in Woodstock.

“We take part in the run every year to do our bit.

“Without the hospital and staff it all would have been much harder.”

Harriet said: “It is bigger, there are more toys to play with, and it makes you feel more comfortable and relaxed.”

This year’s OX5 Run, organised by the Oxford Mail, raised £60,000 for hospital equipment and to improve waiting areas.

Children’s hospital charity spokeswoman, Sarah Vaccari, said: “It is fantastic to have people like Paula who keep supporting the hospital.

“She takes part year after year. Blenheim is a beautiful place but what really inspires people like Paula is knowing they make a huge difference to children across the county.”

To take part, visit oxfordmail.co.uk/news/ox5runhttp://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/ox5run/ or call 01865 743444. If you know someone with a special reason for running, email kormiston@oxfordmail.co.uk

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