LESS than a year ago, young Harry Martin spent an agonising week in hospital as doctors tried to diagnose a rare disease.

Now his relieved mum Jo, describes him as a “normal, cheeky, mischievous” boy.

And she has set out to thank staff at Oxford Children’s Hospital, by signing up for the Oxford Mail’s OX5 Run to raise funds.

Harry was rushed to A&E last March with a high temperature, bloodshot eyes and a lump behind his ear.

Doctors finally came to the conclusion that Harry, now three, had symptoms of Kawasaki disease, which causes blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen and can lead to long-term heart problems if not treated quickly.

Mrs Martin, from Faringdon, said: “It was very scary, they had no idea what was wrong with him.

“He had X-rays, so many blood tests, and was seen by loads of doctors and consultants.

“When they told us about the disease we were very worried about possible long-term effects to his heart.”

Treatment for the disease – which affects about eight in 100,000 children, has been successful and Harry may have his final check-up next month.

The 29-year-old Tesco worker, who stayed at the hospital on alternate nights with her husband Jamie, also 29, praised the nurses, doctors and consultants and said she wanted to say thank-you.

She said: “It was a really tough time for all of us.

“There was one point when we still didn’t know what was wrong with him and we were going for yet another blood test.

“I just sat and cried, but the nurses were amazing with me and made sure we were all okay.

“Also, we were able to stay up at the hospital with Harry. My husband and I did alternate nights. We were so lucky they have the facilities to let us do that and it really helped us in what was a very tough time.”

The now mother-of-two was pregnant with the couple’s daughter Isabelle when last year’s OX5 Run came around but was determined to take part this year at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, April 17.

She said: “I wanted to run last year but couldn’t. Even if I have to walk around this year I’m doing it.

“Harry started pre-school in September and he’s doing great. He’s a normal, cheeky, mischievous little boy.

“I just want to do something to say thank-you and show how grateful we are.”

The OX5 is being sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates for the eighth year and more than 450 people have now signed up to take part.

Last year’s event raised £106,000 for the children’s hospital and the run, which is now in its 14th year, has chalked up more than £850,000.

The money raised is used to fund medical equipment and other aspects of children’s care.

* Sign up online at hospitalcharity.co.uk/ox5run