When Chris Sloggett’s son Jasper was born on 13 April 2017 at Worthing Hospital, both he and his wife Gayle were looking forward to going home and starting life as a family. However, after a relatively straight forward birth, Jasper became very unwell before they were discharged and stopped breathing while still on the ward.

After being rushed to the special care baby unit next door, nurses carried out emergency tests and discovered he had a serious infection. Jasper spent two and a half weeks on the unit and further investigations found he also had an abnormal lump on one of his heart valves.

Chris, 37, a teacher at Felpham Community College, said, “He was monitored 24 hours a day and underwent an exhaustive array of treatments and tests, but he received outstanding care and treatment from all the fantastic staff. The support given to my wife at a difficult time was second to none.”

It was this life-saving care that inspired Chris to raise money for the unit. No stranger to running, he had already taken part in no fewer than nine marathons already, however, this time round, he decided to take on the big one and embarked on a rigorous training regime to get ready for the 2018 London Marathon.

Setting a target of £300, Chris was amazed to see the pounds roll in and within just 48 hours of launching his JustGiving fundraising page, he’d raised more than £600. With support from him running club, the Henfield Joggers, Chris ramped up his training getting up a 4.30am in the morning and clocking in five runs a week.

On the day of the run, all Chris’s hard work came into its own when he crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 41 minutes and 42 seconds and a fantastic fundraising total of more than £1,560.

“Jasper is now a happy and healthy boy, something at the time we never thought would happen,” said Chris. “This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to say a big thank you to all the staff on the special care baby unit who helped to save his life.”

(Chris, Gayle and Jasper Sloggett)