AT just 10 days old, William Thompson was fighting for his life after contracting meningitis.

Sixteen years later he is set to tackle the Oxford Mail’s OX5 Run with 1,100 other runners as a way of saying thank you for the care he received while in hospital.

William’s mother Sara noticed he was poorly shortly after his birth and took him straight to his local GP before he was whisked off to the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

The mum-of-three said: “The care was exceptional and he’s still here today aged 16 – all credit to the hospital staff.”

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Meningitis is potentially life-threatening if untreated and a delay in treatment can lead to hearing problems and epilepsy.

The quick actions of the children’s hospital meant the Warren School pupil had no long-term complications.

Mrs Thompson, an employment solicitor, said: “If he hadn’t received the treatment he did as quickly as he did, it could have potentially been very serious.

“At the time we were in a state of shock, but the staff were great.”

The 44-year-old from Banbury will be running the OX5 for the first time this year alongside her son William, who at 16 is among the youngest eligible for the Blenheim Palace five-mile run.

William said: “I want to raise awareness and money and say thank you to all the hospital staff.”

His older sister Joanna, who was just three when William was taken ill, is also taking part in the run.

The Thompsons will be running as part of the Blake Morgan Oxford team, where Sara works.

Oxford Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “It’s fantastic to hear that William and his family are running.

“The OX5 Run raises funds for all children’s services across Oxford University Hospitals.”

More than 1,100 people have signed up for the run on Sunday, March 29 and there is still time to beat last year’s 1,200 entrants.

The run will be started by Oxford-born former Arsenal and England footballer Martin Keown and nineyear- old Magnus Cameron – a former patient of the children’s hospital.