A LITTLE boy battled over the finishing line as he raced in honour of the hospital unit that saved his miracle sister.
Four-year-old Chase Murrish signed up to take part in the Chuf Heart and Soul Run in aid of the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital which helped baby sister, Chanel, survive.
Chanel was born on February 24 by Caesarian section and rushed into theatre within seconds so surgeons could carry out a procedure to help her heart work.
She has since undergone more operations and, last month, was able to head home to Seaham with her parents Fay, 24, and Micheal, 27, Chase and her other brother Cole, two.
The family has been raising funds for the unit since they found out Chanel suffered the complications, which were shown up in scans while Fay was pregnant.
Chanel is believed to be one of the youngest open heart surgery patients in the country, with her problem caused by Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means she has half a developed heart. Her case is more complicated because she also had an intact atrial septum, which caused a problem with her blood flow.
Chantel will need to undergo two more rounds of open heart surgery, and it is thought she will need a heart transplant when she is older.
Chase took part in the race at Paddy Freemans Park near the hospital, with a junior run, 5k route and 10k run set up.
Fay said: “We are so proud.
“Chase is only four and has autism spectrum disorder, so this was a little out of his comfort zone but he did brilliantly.
“Cole really wanted to take part too but was too young.
“They have coped so well through everything with Chanel and are fab big brothers. “We are so proud of all three of our amazing children.”
Micheal is due to take part in this year’s Great North Run in aid of Chuf, as the family say that without it, Chanel would not be alive.
The dad added: “We want to create as much awareness as possible about both Chuf and organ donation.
“I was the proudest dad in the world this Father’s Day, as I am every day.”
More than £2,800 has been raised through Chanel’s fund already.
The family keep supporters up to date via www.facebook.com/ChanelMurrishHLHS and donations can be made through: www.justgiving.com/ChanelMurrish-HLHS.