Dot's Marathon Challenge for Somerset Dad's Cots in aid of 'Channel Grief'

  • By Rachel Candlin
  • BBC News, West of England

image source, Thomas Young

image caption, Thomas Young said he gets several beeps and cheers from passersby

A father is running 46 half-marathons dressed as Superman in honor of his late son, saying the challenge helps him express his grief.

Thomas Young's son, Jackson, died in May in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Michael's Hospital.

The last run was on May 14, the date Jackson died at six weeks old.

Mr Young, a long-time Superman fan, said he had promised to take Jackson on one of his half-marathons one day dressed as the superhero.

He said many people were initially confused when he first started running.

“I didn't have my flag, so it was like running around Weston in a Superman suit.

„Now, I get a lot of beeps and waves, and I love it because it gives me a big boost to keep going.”

image source, Thomas Young

image caption, Mr Young is raising money for St Michael's Hospital Cots for Tots Charity

A power booster

Jackson was born in April 2023 and was immediately transferred to the NICU at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol, where he lived for 46 days.

Mr Young runs a half-marathon on each of those days and said it helped him process his grief.

„I have days where I'm down, days when it's hard, but the runs are distracting.

„It's helpful, keeping me busy, but also helps relieve my stress and boost my energy.

Mr Young has already raised £8,000 for the NICU's charity Cots for Tots, which provides a „home from home” for families looking after sick and premature babies in hospital.

„In the short time we were there, we saw the dedication and passion they had for not only taking care of the children, but their families. They were incredible,” she said.

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