EIGHT years after the Oxford Children’s Hospital saved Lucas Cox’s life, his dad is planning to take part in the OX5 Run to give something back.

Lucas was rushed to the hospital at just nine days old for surgery on a deformed valve in his heart.

After receiving a donor valve aged three he needed a pacemaker which now gives him a heartbeat and keeps him alive.

Dad David Cox and mum Sam, from Didcot, have praised the hospital and plan to walk the five-mile course at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, on Sunday, April 17.

Mr Cox said: “If they hadn’t done something at nine days old he wouldn’t be here now – they saved his life.

“Lucas doesn’t have a heartbeat – we have to explain to his school that if his pacemaker fails and he was left alone he would become unconscious and die.”

Lucas has needed a pacemaker since he was three and last month had it replaced – which will need to happen every five years.

The Cox family was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital from the Royal Berkshire when a diagnosis was made eight years ago.

They arrived at 1am fearing for their son’s life but were immediately put at ease.

He said: “We didn’t get to the hospital until 1am but everything was described and explained to us. The doctor sat us down and told us what was going to happen – they even found a room for us to stay the night.

“As a parent it was very scary, but they put us at ease. Lucas was in for a couple of months and we stayed for a while. I can’t fault them at all – the care was fantastic.”

Mr Cox, an agricultural engineer, said Lucas is able to mix with other children in the playground without getting tired, thanks to his pacemaker, and is doing well.

He urged people to get involved and raise as much money as possible for the hospital.

The father-of-two said: “It’s one of those places you never wish to use but don’t realise how special it is until you use it. My wife gave lots of arts and crafts to the ward recently and it’s things like that that really help.

“It’s only five miles as well so I’m going to walk it with my wife and some of our family to raise money.”

The event is sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates for the eighth year running.

This year’s OX5 Run raised £106,000 for the hospital and the event, now in its 14th year, has raised more than £850,000 in total.

The money is used to fund medical equipment and other aspects of children’s care, such as play specialists, nurses and toys and games.


You can sign up online for next year’s run by going to hospitalcharity.co.uk/ox5run

Click ‘enter now’ and if you have not taken part before you will have to set up an account with a username and password. 

You can then create a team to run with friends and colleagues, join an existing team or run as an individual. 

It costs £15 to enter – with proceeds going to the charity – and it is suggested each team member aims to raise at least £100.