A mum from Ryhope, Sunderland is taking on the Great North Run to raise funds for The Sick Children’s Trust, the charity that gave her a place to stay when her son was critically ill in hospital.
Jessica Lupton will be running the iconic 13.1-mile route through Newcastle on 11 September to thank the charity for supporting her when her three-year-old son, Jude, suffered kidney failure. Jude had been sick on and off for several days, but after several trips to the doctors there didn’t seem to be anything seriously wrong with him. That was until they were asked to provide a urine sample and Jessica could see that something was seriously wrong when she checked Jude’s nappy.
They took Jude to A&E at Sunderland Hospital, where tests revealed he was in complete kidney failure. Jude was immediately given medication and fluids as doctors prepared him for transfer to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVI) in Newcastle. He was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit on arrival, being placed on a dialysis machine and put into a medically induced coma in order to reduce the strain on his heart.
Jessica and Craig were told to prepare for the worst and that Jude would be facing a lengthy period in hospital. However, with Jude’s blood consistently clotting he needed regular breaks from the dialysis machine which helped his kidneys to recover quicker. After four days on the machine Jude’s kidneys had repaired themselves and, two days later, he was brought out of the coma. After just over two weeks in hospital the family were able to return home.
Throughout Jude’s time at the RVI Jessica and Craig were always by his side as they were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House. The ‘Home from Home’ is located on the hospital site and gave them a free place to stay while Jude was seriously ill in hospital. Jessica is fundraising by taking on the Great North Run to thank the charity for its support. Jessica said:
“We thought Jude would only need minor treatment but just moments later we were thrown into the most terrifying situation of our lives. When your child is on the intensive care units you just take everything minute by minute, so there was no way we could have made the commute from Sunderland every day. The Sick Children’s Trust and Crawford House was a godsend and made sure we were always just a short walk from Jude’s bedside.
“That support, when you’re going through the worst moment of your life, is absolutely amazing. It’s hard to put into words what it meant to us, but for Craig and I to be able to stay together and support each other was so important. Jude is doing amazing now. He’s needed a couple of other hospital stays, but these have been quite minor.
“I wanted to do something to thank the charity for their support as there is no way we would have got through this without them. While I’ve never been a runner, I also wanted to challenge myself. If my son can
go through all that and come out the other side, why can’t I do some training and raise money to support a charity that is so important to families in that moment?”
The Sick Children’s Trust does not charge families to stay in any of its ten ‘Homes from Home’ and this year the charity is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Since 1982 it has supported over 73,000 families, like Jude’s, with a place to stay close to their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside. Community Fundraising Manager, Elisa Coppello-Dowd, said:
“Jessica, Craig and Jude were thrown into the toughest of situations, so it is fantastic to hear how well Jude has been doing since leaving hospital. We’re so pleased we could support them and keep Jessica and Craig just minutes from Jude’s hospital bedside.
“We can’t thank Jessica enough for taking on the Great North Run to support us. It will be a tough challenge, but we’ll be cheering her on every step of the way. While it is completely free for a family to stay in our ‘Homes from Home’, it does cost the charity £40 to support a family for one night. That is why the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers like Jessica are so vital in making sure we can continue to be there supporting more families.
More information about Jessica’s fundraising can be found on her Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/judeciaraldi