Sunderland mum goes on run for lifeline charity which helped her son

Grateful Kayleigh Crann and her son Theo.
Grateful Kayleigh Crann and her son Theo.
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A mum whose little boy was born with a rare illness is giving something back to a lifeline charity.

Kayleigh Crann, 28, from Sunderland, faced every parent’s worst nightmare when son Theo was born four weeks prematurely with a serious condition.

Kayleigh and partner Luke Thompson.

Kayleigh and partner Luke Thompson.

Theo was rushed to intensive care after being born with gastroschisis, which means his intestines had developed outside his abdominal wall.

The condition affects just one in 3,000 babies and meant the youngster had to spend three weeks in paediatric intensive care at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, undergoing specialist treatment and a further five weeks on the ward to recover. Throughout the family’s ordeal, they were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust, which gave Kayleigh the use of its Crawford House facility, meaning Kayleigh could stay just moments from the ward.

Now that Theo is a happy, healthy four-year-old, Kayleigh is taking on the region’s biggest race, the Great North Run, next month in the hope of raising £300 for the charity.

Kayleigh, who also raced for the cause last year, said: “Almost five years have passed but I am still so grateful to The Sick Children’s Trust for the help they gave me.

“There were lots of different factors which could have meant Theo fighting alone at times. We had a bad winter that year, so it would have been nearly impossible for me to have been with him.

“Theo is now a thriving four-year-old and doing extremely well. I’m so proud of how strong he is.”

She added: “We spent Christmas and New Year there too. The staff at The SCT’s Crawford House made it as special as they could, singing carols and giving gifts.”

The mum, who is racing with partner Luke Thompson, said: “Last year was a challenge, and I expect this year to be a challenge too. I haven’t managed to get in much training as I’m working and also looking after Theo, but I am managing to get a least one run in a week and a gym class, which I am hoping will see me through.”

The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten Homes from Home facilities supporting more than 3,500 people.

Crawford House is one of two Homes from Home located in Newcastle. The other, Scott House, supports Freeman Hospital.

Gail Stonley, Crawford House manager, said: “It’s great to see Kayleigh running for us again this year.

“She did a superb job last year and we are all rooting for her again this year. She is really doing us proud and we are so thankful she has decided to tackle those miles.”

• To support Kayleigh on her fundraising, visit her JustGiving page HERE.

• Got a Great North Run story? Call the newsdesk on 0191 501 7326.