STAFF at Oxford Children’s Hospital helped to give 11-year-old Lucas Cox back his heartbeat and now his dad David is doing the OX5 Run to thank them.

At just nine days old Lucas was rushed into hospital and was found to have a deformed valve in his heart.

His parents, who had already visited the doctors with the youngster, were told if it had been 24 hours later Lucas may not have survived.

The family remember being rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital and arriving at 1am fearing for their son’s life.

But thanks to the care and support of staff they immediately felt at ease and were given accommodation at the hospital that night to stay near their son.

Mr Cox said: “We were living at the time in Reading and I was working in Bicester. I would spend most my time with Lucas but there comes a time where the bills still need paying.

“My wife Sam could stay as she was on maternity leave, but I would spend time with Lucas in the morning, before heading off to work, come back and see him again.

“It just gave us that base to work from as a home from home. I remember one time when he was in the intensive care unit we were called at 1.30am to come and say goodbye to him.

“He was fine as soon as we got downstairs, just keeping us on our toes, but had we been in Reading that would have been much more stressful.

“It means everything to just be there with them. The staff also become almost like another family.”

Lucas spent the first few months of his life in intensive care at the John Radcliffe before being cared for in the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

At aged three he had a pacemaker fitted and has since been back and forth since for check-ups, as well as treatment for his asthma.

His is now fighting fit and has just started secondary school and is ready to cheer his dad on at the next Oxford Mail OX5 Run on Sunday, March 24.

It will be the fourth year the family, from Didcot, have been involved in the event and the fourth year Mr Cox is running.

He said: “It is a lovely looking course, although deceiving when you get to those hills, but everyone is so friendly and picks each other up.

“It is no more than an hour and a half on a Sunday morning at a beautiful venue and all to raise money for the Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity which does such wonderful things. It is not until you need them that you realise how lucky we are to have them.”

To sign up to the event, sponsored by Allen Associates, see