Gareth Taplin, from Hailsham, running the London Marathon in aid of Bliss
Gareth Taplin, from Hailsham, running the London Marathon in aid of Bliss

Hailsham dad Gareth Taplin is all set to run the London Marathon in aid of a baby care charity which helped his newborn son.

Gareth is running for Bliss because of the help the charity gave his family after his son was born. Luke was born in June 2006 at Eastbourne DGH after a normal, full term pregnancy. However, during routine checks, the hospital realised that Luke was seriously ill and had neonatal meningitis, caused by Group B streptococcus, an infection which can cause serious illness and even death. Luke needed to be transferred to Chertsey Hospital.

Thankfully, Luke responded to medication, and after three weeks in hospital, he was finally able to go home with his parents. He’s now seven years old.

Gareth said, “I can’t describe the relief we felt when we were told he was going to be okay. We are so thankful that he has had no real problems since his illness.

“We are also thankful for the help we received from Bliss in the transfer between hospitals, and their support during a very traumatic time. The specialist at Chertsey Hospital recognised that the fast transfer and treatment of Luke were so important to his recovery.”

Gareth said he had been inspired to run the marathon by Luke, to say thank you.

He added, “Luke watched the marathon with me last year, and we saw many people running for various charities that are close to their hearts. My wife and I have always supported Bliss since Luke was born, and always donate money to them at Christmas. I feel that this isn’t enough and I want to do more. I have never run a marathon but I am confident that the distance will be completed in a respectable time and I am confident that I can raise some money for Bliss.”

Amy Rodwell, Bliss running events officer, said, “The London Marathon is always a special event, and we’re delighted to have Gareth taking part with us this year. We want to say a huge thank you to him; he will be helping us continue to support families who are going through what is one of the most difficult times imaginable, having a baby who is seriously ill.”

For more information about Gareth’s story, or to donate to his fundraising efforts visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/GarethTaplin

For information about Bliss visit www.bliss.org.uk