A DEVOTED dad is carrying out a gruelling 84-mile trek in memory of his precious son.
On Friday, Sunderland police officer Paul Lisle set off on the annual charity challenge he carries out in memory of his son, three-year-old Scott.
This year, the 39-year-old, from Fulwell, is joined by eight colleagues and friends for the Hadrian’s Wall coast-to-coast trek in Northumberland and Cumbria, which they aim to complete within four days.
As revealed in the Echo, little Scott lost his battle for life in June 2009, after being diagnosed with rare neurological condition Retts syndrome.
Paul said: “We try and do a new challenge every year to try and maintain the public’s awareness about Retts syndrome.
“It’s such a rare conditions, especially in boys, that no one really knows about it.
“We’re raising funds to remember Scott and to make sure something positive comes of his death.”
Last year, Paul tackled the three peaks challenge, raising £4,000 for the cause.
“I’m not expecting to make that much money again,” said Paul.
“Any money raised will go towards research to hopefully find a cure.
“I wanted to do the walk in three days, but my mates weren’t too keen on that idea and persuaded me to do it in four instead, meaning we’ll be walking eight hours and covering 22 miles each day.”
Just weeks after being born, Scott was rushed to hospital after he stopped breathing.
Extensive tests were carried out, including brain and MRI scans, while the youngster was kept in intensive care.
After tests failed to find any problems, Scott was able to return home.
But his poor health continued and, eventually, he needed to have a nasogastric feed fitted.
The youngster was also rushed to Newcastle General Hospital where he fought for his life after being hit by a severe bout of pneumonia and C-Difficile.
The next few months saw him go in and out of intensive care and he was diagnosed with severe epilepsy.
But by December 2007 he was well enough to be page boy at ther wedding of his parents Paul and Julie.
Soon after, Julie, 39, also a police officer, fell pregnant again but was taken into hospital at 26 weeks for a premature birth.
Weighing just 1lb 8oz, baby Rhys, now three, spent the first few months of his life battling for survival, almost dying twice.
As Rhys recovered and the Lisles began to build a family life together, tragedy struck and Scott was diagnosed with Retts Syndrome.
He died on June 18, 2009, with his family at his side.
To sponsor Paul and his team, visit www.justgiving.com/paul-lisle.