A dad from South Yorkshire, whose son battled a life-threatening infection, is taking on a half marathon to raise money for meningitis research.
Tony Bowdler-Smith’s little boy Tyler, aged two, was conceived followed a long process of IVF treatment - but at 20 months the youngster had to fight for his life after contracting deadly meningococcal septicaemia.
Tony, aged 33, of Kimberworth, Rotherham, has now teamed up with his sister Joanne Smith to run the Silverstone Half Marathon in Northamptonshire on March 2 in aid of the Meningitis Research Foundation.
The dad said: “We first noticed he was unwell as he was shivering and had a fever. We gave him some Calpol, but an hour later we checked on him and noticed bruises on his body.
“Our beautiful little boy had contracted the devastating illness meningococcal septicaemia. We were completely helpless.”
Tyler was put in an induced coma for a week as medics fought to save his life.
“I keep thinking, if Tyler can fight like that for his life, I can certainly run a few miles for him,” Tony added.
Chris Head, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We are extremely grateful to Tony and Joanne for taking on the half marathon and fundraising.
“They know how quickly this disease strikes and how babies and toddlers are particularly at risk. We rely on donations to fund our work into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia.
“Every penny raised will make a huge difference and enable us to continue our work.”
n Visit www.justgiving.com/Tony-Bowdler-Smith to sponsor Tony.