Father running marathon to thank hospital for saving son's life

Oscar Catchpole, three, at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital.

Oscar Catchpole, three, at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

At just three-years-old he has suffered over 60 potentially life-threatening epileptic seizures because of a rare genetic disorder which will shorten his life.

Elliott Catchpole with his son Oscar Catchpole, now aged three.

Elliott Catchpole with his son Oscar Catchpole, now aged three. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

And as a thanks to staff at the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital, part of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, who have saved Oscar Catchpole's life several times, his father is running his first marathon on October 3 for the N&N Hospitals Charity.

Elliott Catchpole, 29, from Attleborough, who is running the Loch Ness Marathon for the N&N Hospitals Charity.

Elliott Catchpole, 29, from Attleborough, who is running the Loch Ness Marathon for the N&N Hospitals Charity. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

Elliott Catchpole, 29, from Woodside Park in Attleborough, who also has a one-year-old son, is tackling the Loch Ness Marathon with his two friends James Flannigan and Jonathan Lee, and has so far raised £2,560 out of his £5,000 target.

The Wymondham High Academy science teacher described his three-year-old as a trouper.

He said: "Although he cannot talk because of his un-named genetic disorder, he is really smiley and lets you know when he is happy. Day-to-day he has such a happy life but we have these traumatic events with him that shake us. But he recovers and is so resilient."

Oscar Catchpole, three, who has a rare genetic disorder and experiences severe epileptic seizures.

Oscar Catchpole, three, who has a rare genetic disorder and experiences severe epileptic seizures. - Credit: Elliott Carchpole

Mr Catchpole said there have been some "close calls" with previous seizures which can force his son's airway to close.

The three-year-old, who loves Disney Cars films, giving cuddles and watching his younger brother play, was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was six months old and the genetic disorder at around one after a plethora of health conditions.

Oscar Catchpole as a baby.

Oscar Catchpole as a baby. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

Experts told Mr Catchpole an his wife, Lucy, their son was one of 15 cases of the currently un-named genetic disorder worldwide but despite that Oscar has defied expectations.

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The condition has caused global development delay, meaning he is non-verbal and cannot walk unaided.

Three-year-old Oscar Catchpole (right) with his younger brother Arthur.

Three-year-old Oscar Catchpole (right) with his younger brother Arthur. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

But it is the epilepsy that is the biggest concern for the family because it causes Oscar's airway to close up and requires them to give him a daily medication as well as carry round an oxygen cylinder when they leave the house.

Elliott Catchpole with his two sons Oscar (left) and Arthur.

Elliott Catchpole with his two sons Oscar (left) and Arthur. - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

He has not gone longer than 12 weeks without a seizure.

Attleborough parents Elliott and Lucy Catchpole with their children Oscar (three) on the left and Arthur (one).

Attleborough parents Elliott and Lucy Catchpole with their children Oscar (three) on the left and Arthur (one). - Credit: Elliott Catchpole

Mr Catchpole said: "We make the most of the happy times. You have to keep positive. We feel lucky and  love Oscar for who he is."

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Elliott-Catchpole