Dad makes marathon effort to thank special care baby unit

Chris and Gayle Sloggett with baby Jasper, now ten months
Chris and Gayle Sloggett with baby Jasper, now ten months

New dad Chris Sloggett is finishing his marathon ‘career’ on a high, on the course he had already dreamed of running.

His tenth and likely final marathon will mean all the more to him because he is running for Love Your Hospital, as a thank you for the amazing life-saving care given by the special care baby unit at Worthing Hospital.

Chris, 37, a teacher at Felpham Community College, is training hard for the London Marathon on April 22 and hopes to raise £1,000 for the charity.

He said: “The support given to my wife at a difficult time was second to none. This is an opportunity for me to try to raise as much money as I can for the unit. Every penny helps support the treatment of sick and premature babies at Worthing Hospital.”

Jasper was born full-term on April 13, Maundy Thursday, last year. As it was the Easter weekend and he was born late in the day, he and mum Gayle were kept in hospital longer than usual and planned to go home on Easter Saturday.

But during the Saturday afternoon, he turned blue while they were on Bramber Ward, so he was rushed through to the special care baby unit next door.

Gayle said: “He had to have lots of tests to find out what the problem was. They found he had an infection through the blood cultures, which was causing the blue episodes.

“He was in special care for two-and-a-half weeks. They were amazing, it is such a good unit there. He was the only term baby in there, most were prem babies.”

Since Jasper has been home in Worthing, he has been thriving and although doctors found an abnormal lump on a valve in his heart, they said they are not concerned.

Chris said: “I think he will be fine. They weren’t going to let him go until he was right and the support we have had from the unit has gone on.

“They were looking after Gayle as well as the baby. She was going through the wringer.”

Chris set an original target of £300 but that was smashed within 48 hours, so he doubled it. Thanks to support from his running club, Henfield Joggers, and staff and students at his school, the total is well on its way to £700 already.

He said: “This year, I have taken it seriously. I started training in December and since the start of the year, I have done five runs a week, sometimes at 4.30 in the morning. I want to enjoy it so I am doing the training properly.

“I have done nine marathons already, so this will be my tenth and I will probably stop at this one. I have always wanted to run the London Marathon and entered almost every year but never been lucky in the ballot.”

Chris finished the Worthing Half Marathon in one hour 41 minutes, his best half marathon run and ten minutes faster than ever before.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-sloggett1 to make a donation.