A commemorative jog has been organised by the parents of a little boy who would have turned ten in September.
Tim and Christa Tuohy from Walton-on-the-Hill, are holding Justin’s Jog in memory of their son who had complex health needs throughout his short life and who passed away soon after his fifth birthday.
The money raised through the 10 mile Jog will go towards The Children’s Trust, where Justin spent the last two years of his life.
“The years he spent at The Children’s Trust were the best of his life.” Explains Christa. “He had spent so much of his life in hospital surrounded by machines. This was freedom for him.”
Justin was born with kidney failure and relied on dialysis to stay alive. It was discovered that his dad, Tim, was a compatible match and aged two, Justin underwent a kidney transplant operation.
However soon after he returned home, Justin had a fit and it was revealed that there were complications and the youngster had water on the brain.
Doctors tried to relieve the pressure, but were unsuccessful and in the end had to insert a tracheotomy in his throat to enable him to breathe and Justin spent the next year at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“His sister Jessica and I spent day after day by his bedside, keeping him comfortable and happy,” says Christa. “Jessica did her best to play with him, but she had to be so careful – he could only play as long as the tube let him.”
Aged three, Justin arrived at The Children’s Trust in Tadworth, where he received therapies to help him learn to speak, crawl and enjoy life all over again.
“Everyone at the Trust saw Justin’s potential and they were determined to give him the chance to make choices and give him some independence. This is what made Justin so happy. They treated him just like any little boy.
“One weekend, when he was playing with Jessica, he found his voice. Jessica jumped up and down in excitement: “He said ‘mummy’, he said ‘mummy’!”. After this the therapists helped him say more words, and soon he was talking to us again. It had been three years since we had heard his voice. I cannot tell you what an amazing thing it is to hear your child call you mummy.”
“Even though his life was short, through The Children’s Trust Justin was able to live it to the full. They treated him like a little boy who needed to have fun.”
Anyone can register to run, walk or jog the scenic route across the Epsom Downs, starting at 4pm from The Fox and Hounds, Walton-on-the-Hill on Saturday 8th September.
Registration is £15 which includes a hog roast and family entertainment. To register call 01737 557661 or visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/justinsjog
Justin’s Favourite colours were yellow and “Barney purple”, so runners are asked to wear these colours for the run.
The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, is a national charity that provides care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury. Visit The Children’s Trust
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