TWO mums whose baby sons needed urgent care from the Oxford Children’s Hospital have signed up once again for the Oxford Mail’s OX5 Run.

Friends Rebecca Clarke and Rachel Payne, godmothers to each other’s children, were the top fundraisers last year, donating almost £4,000 to the hospital.

They are hoping to beat that total at this year’s run at Blenheim Palace on April 17.

Mrs Clarke’s two-year-old son Remy was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital in July 2014 and later diagnosed with potentially fatal meningitis and sepsis.

After more than a month in intensive care and a year of physio and homecare by hospital staff he now has a clean bill of health.

Mrs Clarke, 30, of Stratton Audley, said: “He has done amazingly well – the doctors can’t really believe it.

“He now only has regular check-ups every three months and is a perfectly normal two-year-old.”

Rachel Payne’s two-year-old son Ralph spent a week in the special care baby unit at the John Radcliffe after being unable to breathe on his own when he was born.

Paediatricians managed to resuscitate him and after several days in a low dependency unit he was returned to his mother.

The 32-year-old, from Launton, said: “It was very scary – when you go into labour you think you are going to have this bundle of joy and be able to hug him immediately.

“It didn’t work out like that and there were about 10 paediatricians trying to resuscitate him.

“Seeing him after, lying there with all the wires and breathing apparatus, was very scary.”

Ralph is now in perfect health and a “very boisterous” young boy according to his mother.

“The money we raised last year hopefully goes some way to paying them back for what they did,” she said.

“The care and support was incredible – the nurses always made us feel Ralph was in the best possible place to be cared for and we were able to sit with him as long we wanted.

“I burst into tears when I checked how much we raised on the morning of the race last year and it’s made me want to run again.

“Everyone knows someone who has used the children’s hospital and you never know when you might have to rely on it.”

Oxford Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “We are thrilled Rachel and Rebecca are back again and putting together another large team for the OX5 Run. “We do hope others will be inspired by their stories and sign up for the April 17 five-miler, helping to make a difference for our young patients.”

The OX5 Run is being sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates for the eighth year.

Last year’s event raised £106,000 for the hospital and the run, now in its 14th year, has chalked up 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 by going to