Leamington man ran Great North Run in memory of his baby nephew

James Daly and his nephew Benjamin.
James Daly and his nephew Benjamin.

A bereaved uncle from Leamington has dedicated his fundraising efforts in the Great North Run last weekend to his baby nephew who died of a severe heart problem.

James Daly’s nephew Benjamin was born at Warwick Hospital in February and was quickly transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart abnormality.

Whist being scanned at the hospital, Benjamin suffered three cardiac arrests and only survived due to the skill of the staff there.

He was a month old when he came home to Whitnash and in the meantime, Mr Daly had decided to take part in the Great North Run and to appeal for sponsorship for the children’s hospital and, in particular, Ward 11 where Benjamin was treated.

Mr Daly, 40 and a father-of-two who teaches PE at Kineton High School, said: “Initially I aimed to run the Great North Run to raise money and awareness for Birmingham Children’s Hospital as they had looked after Benjamin in his first few weeks of his life.

“In those first couple of weeks they kept Benjamin alive with their expertise. “Benjamin was making good progress after he left hospital although expected to have several more operations in the future as he had an abnormal heart.”

Benjamin continued to be monitored and treated by both the children’s hospital and Warwick Hospital and his family have said the care he received at both was ‘second to none’.

But on July 24, his grandmother Chris’ birthday, he died unexpectedly.

Mr Daly said: “Since then it became important for me to complete the Great North Run in Benjamin’s memory to support my sister Sarah and her husband Neil.

“I completed the run in one hour 43 minutes and 25 seconds and came 3,561st out of 57,000 runners.

“The event was fantastically supported along the 13.1 miles with the crowds handing out Jelly Babies, ice pops and even pints of beer.

“It was emotional talking to other runners about their stories of who they were running for whilst waiting for the start.

“I was so proud to complete the run in memory of Benjamin.

“Sarah and Neil have been overwhelmed by the support of family and friends who have donated.

“DD Hardware had a donations bucket in their shop and raised £165.”

To make a donation to Mr Daly’s fundraising effort visit https://www.justgiving.com/James-Daly8