Pakefield dad running marathon to thank Great Ormond Street Hospital for daughter’s successful treatment

Pakefield father Richard Daws will take on the Brighton Marathon to raise money for Great Ormond Str

Pakefield father Richard Daws will take on the Brighton Marathon to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where his daughter Ava has been cared for. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Daws - Credit: Archant

A father is gearing himself up to conquer one of human endeavour's biggest physical challenges as a show of thanks to the hospital which has cared for his daughter.

Ava underwent tests and surgery at the hospital for a venolymphatic malformation. Picture: Courtesy

Ava underwent tests and surgery at the hospital for a venolymphatic malformation. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Daws - Credit: Archant

Richard Daws, who lives in Pakefield with his fiance Amy and their two daughters, Ellie-May and Ava, will take on the Brighton Marathon next April in an attempt to raise as much money as possible for Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Three-year-old Ava was born with a roll of fat on her neck which was initially thought to be a malformation that would clear by itself.

However, at her two-year health check, concerns increased about the malformation's growth and she was sent to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for an MRI scan, which revealed a combination of blood vessels and lymph glands.

Ava was referred for further tests at Great Ormond Street, where it was revealed she had a venolymphatic malformation, which can go on to cause bone and organ impairment. Paediatric plastic surgeon Dr Justine O'Hara recommended its removal as soon as possible.

Mr Daws undertook the 5km parkrun in Lowestoft on December 3 and is now looking ahead to April's mar

Mr Daws undertook the 5km parkrun in Lowestoft on December 3 and is now looking ahead to April's marathon. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Daws - Credit: Archant


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She underwent successful surgery on November 17 and now her father has decided to demonstrate his appreciation for the hospital's 'brilliant' efforts.

'This can't be cured, only treated, and there is a possibility that it will return, but we can't speak highly enough of Dr O'Hara and her fantastic team,' said Mr Daws.

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'I started training for the marathon two weeks ago and I'm just easing myself into it with two to three mile runs. I have no real running experience so if anyone could offer advice that would be great!'

Mr Daws undertook the 5km Lowestoft parkrun on December 3 and, having been sent a training schedule by the hospital, he is now looking ahead to April's 26.2-mile slog.

As for Ava, the youngster is back to being a happy child and has recently returned to pre-school.

'She's only three-years-old so none of this means much to her,' added Mr Daws.

'Ava has a big scar on her neck but, if you didn't see that, you wouldn't know anything was ever wrong with her - she's back to her mischevious self!'

Mr Daws is looking to raise £500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. To donate, visit his Just Giving page.

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