Little girl's heart condition inspires her aunt to run London Marathon

The family of a little girl suffering with a heart condition linked to sudden death are fundraising for the British Heart Foundation.

Saturday, 9th April 2016, 11:00 am
Sophie Leman with her auntie Claire Martin SUS-160604-102254001

Sophie Leman, four, was diagnosed two days before Christmas 2014. The life of the Leman family, which includes Ava, six, and Joseph, 12, was turned upside down with hospital appointments and regular ECG tests at home. Mum Lisa Leman said, “Sophie has several health conditions which include Aspergers and eosinophlic gastritis and colitis, which her older sister Ava also has.

“Joseph is a fantastic brother and helps care for both his sisters and tries to lead a normal childhood with what is going on around him.”

Sophie has Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome.

Lisa told the Herald about the diagnosis. She said, “Our world fell apart, she looks so happy and always smiling, how could this happen?

“Although it was heartbreaking news, we were glad of the diagnosis and we were given a full list of symptoms to look out for.

“Since that day, we have had many hospital visits, lots of ECGs and we have also had to get a mobile ECG machine for home, for when she is having symptoms. We watch her constantly, worried over silly things, if she getting too cold, if she has a temperature, trying to slow her down so it doesn’t aggravate anything.

“We often don’t sleep due to the fear of her not waking, but if we hadn’t found out in 2014, things may be very different.”

With lots of tests still to be completed, Sophie will have heart surgery, which her family hope will cure the problem, but she will continue to have cardiologist appointments. In the meantime, her supportive friends and family are fundraising for the country’s leading heart charity and they all enjoyed a tea party, which raised more than £200 for the charity.

Claire Martin, Sophie’s auntie, will be running the London Marathon this month to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Claire has always wanted to run the marathon and wanted to complete the 26-mile run in the capital before she is 40. She has been training hard and working towards her £3,000 sponsorship target. Claire needs to raise this money to take part in the marathon. Help Claire reach her target at

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