Dad runs Bristol half marathon for premature babies charity

September 28 2018

A FATHER from Stoke Bishop who underwent major heart surgery in 2013 is raising money for a charity that provided support for his premature daughter.

Scott Proudman, 37, is fundraising after his own experience of being helped by premature and sick baby charity Bliss. His daughter, Saxon Proudman was born at just 24 weeks in October 2017 and weighed 579g, and he decided to take part in the Simply Health Great Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday September 23 in support of the cause, running the distance in a respectable 2 hours 22 minutes. 

Scott and his wife Anna underwent six rounds of fertility treatment in their journey to having children, eventually resulting in a twin pregnancy. Sadly, Saxon's twin Drew died at around 21 weeks and it was this that initiated Saxon's birth at 24 weeks. In total she spent 141 days in hospital, mostly in Southmead but also in Bristol Children's Hospital as well.

Scott has raised over £1,000 so far for premature baby charity, Bliss and his challenge is also made even more impressive due to the fact that he was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, and required major heart surgery at the Bristol Heart Institute in 2013. 

Speaking of his experience of using Bliss, Scott said: “At 24 weeks, Saxon was extremely premature and faced a dizzying range of issues as a result. Luckily, she is a fighter and incredibly stubborn, so she has battled her way through every obstacle put it her way.

“I decided to follow her example and set myself the challenge to complete a half marathon. It may not sound like the biggest of challenges, but I had major heart surgery four years ago to replace a faulty valve. My mechanical valve keeps me healthy, but makes running 21km a significantly larger challenge than it would be for most!

“Bliss supported us in so many ways while we were in hospital. Their leaflets and website provided clear information about neonatal care. A Bliss Champion visited our unit every week and spoke to us about what we were going through. I know that the charity also invests in life changing research and helps train health care professionals to care for babies in the best way possible. ”

Scott also added that Saxon is doing well for a '24 weeker', and now weighs over 14lbs. “Despite the challenges she has faced, and still has to face, she is an incredibly strong, determined and happy little baby with a very cheeky sense of humour!” he said. 

To find out more about Bliss and support Scott in his challenge, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scott-proudman1