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Smiles with dad all set to clock a few miles
A DAD is thanking staff at Oxford Children’s hospital who went the distance in taking care of his baby by taking on five extra miles himself.
Richard Chinn immediately signed up for next month’s OX5 Run when he heard it raises cash for the Headington hospital.
The 11th annual run – organised by the Oxford Mail – will be held at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock on Sunday, March 10.
The hospital cared for daughter Lily, now three, who was born at the hospital with a cleft palate – a congenital condition where bones in the roof of the mouth fail to fuse, causing a split that often extends down through the upper lip.
Mr Chinn, 38, a software engineer from Banbury, said: “We knew nothing about clefts so it was a shock.
“But the day after she was born, there was someone there to talk to and help us out.
“The main problem was feeding. Babies usually suck on a bottle for milk but because there was a hole in the top of her mouth she had difficulties.
“So we started to use special bottles, which was difficult at first.
“Then, when she was eight months old, she had an operation to close the gap, which went well. She’s three now and she is really good.”
Hospital staff also helped her with speech therapy, which included visiting her nursery to watch how she was communicating with fellow toddlers.
Mr Chinn is married to Ruth, 37, and the couple have another daughter, two-year-old Jessica.
Organisers hope to beat the £60,000 raised at last year’s event and so far more than 600 runners are taking part.
The cash will go towards a new eye scanner for babies and children, a PneumoScan machine to measure lung function in children and a portable ventilator to transport sick children between departments.
A more comfortable waiting area for parents with children in the high dependency unit is also being planned.
It costs £10 to enter the run and participants are encouraged to raise £100 or more in sponsorship.
The OX5 Run, which is organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by Oxford-based recruitment firm Allen Associates, raised £60,000 for the Oxford Children’s Hospital last year.
To enter this year’s race, call 01865 743444 or go to oxfordmail.co.uk/news/ox5run
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