PARENTS who have needed the ‘amazing’ help of Oxford Children’s Hospital to save two of their children’s sight have urged people to join them on the OX5 Run.

Lynne and Tom Hammond, from Woodstock, were already grateful for hospital staff who looked after their six-year-old daughter Eliza when she was diagnosed with children’s cataracts in January 2015 and had just 10 per cent vision.

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She underwent three major eye operations to remove the lens from her eye and have it replaced with a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens.

Mr Hammond said: "We had our second daughter Hettie and she was fine so we didn't believe there was a genetic link but when we had our son Charlie in April he was also diagnosed with the same condition."

Oxford Mail:

Charlie Hammond

The father-of-three explained the form was 'more progressive' than Eliza's and within two months the newborn was undergoing the same operations as his big sister.

He said: "We'd been through it before but they are long, risky operations and the children's hospital and Oxford Eye Hospital have been instrumental in helping us. They've been absolutely amazing and we're so lucky to have them on our doorstep."

For the past few years the couple have taken turns running the five-mile race, with last year Mr Hammond racing with his mother and brother as his wife was weeks away from giving birth to Charlie.

This year it will be both parents taking on the OX5 Run.

Joe Baker, from Oxford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Lynne, Tom and the whole family are joining us again for another OX5 Run.

“Last year the Hammonds’ did a fantastic job of helping us fund some amazing projects across the Oxford Children’s Hospital – including state of the art monitoring equipment and special backpacks so that young cancer patients can receive immunotherapy treatment whilst on the go.”

Oxford Mail:

Tom and Lynne Hammond with children Charlie, Hettie, three and Eliza, six

He added: “Every year we are joined by families and friends who all take part for a number of different reasons, whether they are thanking the hospital, remembering a special loved one or want to support their local children’s hospital, without them this event wouldn’t be the success it is.

“To kick start 2020, we would like to urge family, friends, businesses, clubs and organisations to lace up their trainers and get involved with the fun run which supports our young patients and their families whilst they stay at our very special hospital.”

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The Oxford Mail OX5 Run will, once again, take runners around a five-mile course at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, March 29.

Fundraisers can walk, jog or run the event, sponsored by Allen Associates, all in aid of supporting Oxford Children’s Hospital. Entry costs £20 for those who sign up as part of the early bird special. Visit