A MUM-of-two is running this year’s OX5 to thank hospital staff who have become ‘part of the family’ since the premature birth of her son.

Michelle Partlett, from Upper Heyford, near Bicester, will be taking on the hospital fundraiser with husband Gareth this spring, after the pair’s newborn son, Alfie, was born at 28 weeks old.

ALSO READ: Parents thank hospital staff for saving children's eyesight

The family, who will be joined by Mrs Partlett’s brother Lee and sister-in-law Sophia on the run, spent 46 days in the John Radcliffe Hospital – including the entire Christmas period.

Oxford Mail:

Big brother Joshua, 3, with Alfie and mum Michelle Partlett

Mrs Partlett said: “It was a massive shock when he came on November 17 as he wasn’t due until February 9.

"Alfie had to spend some time in intensive care but he's doing well now. I’m so glad we were at the John Radcliffe as the care we got there was second to none.”

The family are now at home and Mrs Partlett said: “I had a real mix of emotions being in hospital when Alfie was born early, it was really hard being away from home and juggling life with a toddler, and a tiny newborn.

Oxford Mail:

Alfie Partlett

“However, the staff have been fantastic and have become like part of our family. "

The 33-year-old added: "We are taking part in the OX5 Run to give back and say thank you for the wonderful care that we have all received.

"People tell you that the hospital staff will become your best friends and I thought that was silly at first but it was so true.”

ALSO READ: Mum running OX5 for daughter Poppy

She said the staff had done their best to make sure the family-of-four's unexpected first Christmas together was still a special one despite being in hospital.

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.

Oxford Mail:

Joshua and Alfie Partlett

Last year’s was one of the best ever for the OX5 with 1,100 runners raising £150,000 for the children’s hospital.

All money raised goes towards improving equipment and care at the Headington hospital, the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital and the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.

Joe Baker, from Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: “A huge thank you to the Partlett family for getting involved with our annual five mile run.

“Each year we are inspired by the families and businesses taking part wanting to say thank you to our very special hospital."

ALSO READ: Dad taking on OX5 for seventh time to thank hospital

He added: “If you feel inspired by Michelle’s story and want to run, walk, jog the beautiful five mile route at Blenheim Palace then sign up and help make a real difference.”

Sign up here.

This year's race is already on course for a big turnout with more than 400 people so far pledged to take part.