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The day that a Lowestoft shop owners' marathon joy turned to sadness

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 May 2015

Lisa Williams (right) with her mother Maria Harrison on her wedding day.

Lisa Williams (right) with her mother Maria Harrison on her wedding day.

© Archant 2015

"When I crossed the finish line, we sent my mother an iPhone video. She was sitting on her bed with her head forward. She looked up smiled and put her head down - when they looked back a couple of minutes later, she wasn't breathing."

Lisa Williams completes the London Marathon and raised money for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow charity. Picture: Nick ButcherLisa Williams completes the London Marathon and raised money for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow charity. Picture: Nick Butcher

That was the day that Lisa Williams’ marathon experience turned from a moment of adulation and celebration to the worst possible nightmare, as she received the news that her mother, Maria Harrison, 69, had stopped breathing - just half an hour after Mrs Williams completed her first marathon.

Mrs Williams, 49, who lives in Bungay but owns the Beach Hut Furniture Shop in London Road South, has described how her mother’s death - caused by a heart attack - was “her mother choosing her moment to go”, as it was the first time in two years her and her five siblings were all together.

Mrs Williams, who is a hairdresser by trade, completed a focused training programme - which entailed a 22-mile preparation run - to tick the race off her ‘bucket list’. She was familiar with the streets of London, having lived there when she was younger, and returned with her husband of two years Chris.

Mrs Williams visited her mother the day before the race at her home on the Isle of Dogs in East London.

Her mother told her she was proud of what she was about to achieve.

Mrs Williams said: “To sum up the day, I was frightened, fearful and nervous. Then I had the adrenaline of running before fatigue and elation at the end. Then it turned to complete fear.

“I want people to recognise my mother as she is remembered for having a massive heart and being such a kind lady.

“She could have died a couple of times, as she had two near fatal incidents that had almost cost her life. She was amazing.” Mrs Williams, who has so far raised about £600 for the Anthony Nolan Trust, completed the race in six hours, 10 minutes.

She said: “There were parts where I’d thought I had enough, but people would shout: ‘Come on Lisa.’ The fear of failure kept me going.” Mrs Williams was running for Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Charity, which is giving money to Jack’s Journey - to help a young boy born with a life threatening condition called Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome.

To donate to Mrs Williams, visit www.justgiving.com/Lisa-Williams48

Have you got a story to tell? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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