THANKS to staff at Oxford Children’s Hospital, one-year-old Emmie Hodge is happy and healthy, following keyhole surgery just months after she was born.

Now her mother Lucy Hodge is taking part in the OX5 Run to raise funds for new toys and equipment for patients.

The five-mile charity run, organised by the Oxford Mail and now in its 10th year, will take place around the park at Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock, a week tomorrow.

Mrs Hodge, 29, who works for Audley Travel, just outside Witney, is taking part in the OX5 Run to show her appreciation for the work of hospital staff.

At Mrs Hodge’s 20-week pregnancy scan, an ultrasound technician noticed something was wrong with her baby’s right lung.

Mrs Hodge and her husband Ben, 28, an account manager, then returned to hospital the next day to see a consultant.

Mrs Hodge, of Eton Close, Witney, who is running with staff from recruitment consultants Allen Associates, which sponsors the event, said: “We were really shocked to find out something was wrong. It was the hardest night of our lives.

“We had to let all our family know, because when you go to something like a 20-week scan, everyone wants to know how you got on.”

Soon afterwards, the rare condition was confirmed as CCAM (Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation), affecting the baby’s right lung.

Emmie was born in February last year. Mrs Hodge said: “We heard her cry, I got to see her briefly and they whisked her away.

“Her scores were perfect and she was handed back to me. It was fantastic that we had that normal experience of birth.”

Emmie then had a keyhole surgery operation on July 6 last year, which lasted about two-and-a-half hours.

Mrs Hodge added: “We were absolutely amazed by what the surgeons were able to do.

“She was such a small baby and the procedure was so intricate.

“As soon as Emmie came out of theatre, it was like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. After all Emmie has been through, she’s made a complete recovery and is a feisty little girl.”

Children’s Hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said more than 700 people have signed up for next weekend’s event so far.

She added: “It’s fantastic to hear that little Emmie is doing so well now. As Lucy’s story shows, you never know when someone close to you might need the hospital, so this is a great local cause.

“With just one week to go, it is really important that anyone thinking of taking part in the run signs up now.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all those who have already signed up for the run.”

Organisers hope that 1,000 people will turn out and raise £100,000 to mark the run’s anniversary.