In September, Brian Marshall, aged 19 from South Shields, will be running from Newcastle to his home town at the coast when he takes on the Great North Run to thank the NHS for saving his dad’s life.
Brian’s dad, also called Brian Marshall, collapsed in February following an aneurysm, which required emergency surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).
This desperately worrying situation was amplified because Brian (senior) had been released from hospital just one week earlier, following treatment for Covid.
Brian says: “Dad’s been in the army his whole working life. He’s always been very active and taken care of himself.
“He’d been out of hospital a week and just started to get back on his feet after Covid when he collapsed at the yard where he keeps his boat. Luckily, he was with friends who acted quickly to get help.
“A blood clot had burst above his right eye and he needed a six-hour operation at the RVI, which saved his life. Then the consultant recommended additional surgery to help prevent further issues relating to the blood clot and, thankfully, that also went well.”
To add to the distress for the Marshall family, Brian’s mam, Jayne Marshall, died from liver disease in September, aged just 46.
Brian adds: “It’s been a horrendous year. And if it wasn’t for the expert treatment my dad’s received at Newcastle Hospitals, I’d have been mourning his loss, as well as my mam’s.
“Dad’s now receiving amazing rehab at Walkergate Hospital in Newcastle and can walk and talk and, obviously, that’s a huge relief.
“It’s been a hard process but we’re hoping he’ll be home by September, which is when I’ll be doing the Great North Run for Newcastle Hospitals Charity. It’s a great cause and doing the run is my way of thanking the amazing NHS team who not only saved my dad’s life, they’ve been caring for him every day since then.”
Brian is doing the Great North Run for Newcastle Hospitals Charity, helping further research into stroke and aneurysms and enhancing related patient care and has already raised almost £1,000.
Sonia Graham, Fundraising Manager for Newcastle Hospitals Charity, says: “We’re hugely grateful to Brian and everyone who is doing the Great North Run for our Charity this year.
“It’s always special, but this year’s Great North Run promises to be even more so, and, as there is no public ballot, the only way to take part now is through a charity place.
“The money raised from our fantastic Great North Run team makes a real impact for our hospitals, enabling us to fund projects like a new dementia lounge for patients, complimentary therapy to support people receiving cancer treatment and help to reduce stress and anxiety, along with sensory playrooms, toys and activity packs for children coming into hospital.
“We have limited number of places available and would love you to join our team of runners, so why not sign up today to make a difference!”
After the event’s cancellation in 2020, this year’s Great North Run promises to be extra special and will include belated 40th anniversary celebrations.
The only way to sign up to the Great North Run 2021 is via a charity place and limited places are available to run for Newcastle Hospitals Charity, with a £50 registration fee and a pledge to raise £250.
Newcastle Hospitals Charity helps our hospitals to go further, supporting projects that help to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and the wider community through compassionate and innovative healthcare, education and research.
For more information or to sign up for a place, click here.