Hood’s hospital rush

Sunderland Harrier Mark Hood.
Sunderland Harrier Mark Hood.
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SUNDERLAND Harrier Mark Hood’s stop-go season has been hit again after he was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation.

All year he has been beset with a foot injury to add to his other problems that have blighted his athletics career throughout the years.

This time the club’s top endurance runner was feeling unwell and suffering severe pain around his diaphragm.

He said: “I did a track session at Silksworth, although I didn’t feel one hundred percent, I still managed it. It was afterwards on the cool down that the pain became more severe.

“It then settled down a bit during the night but the next day, Wednesday, we had to call an ambulance. I was rushed to hospital and had an operation for appendicitis.’’

Hood spent two days in dock, before he was sent home to recuperate. The previous Saturday his wife, Alison, had been admitted to hospital to give birth to the couple’s second child, Poppy, who was a premature baby. Poppy was admitted to the intensive care ward before she was fit enough to be sent home with Alison.

A couple of days later Mark woke in panic when he was only able to move his toes, left arm and head.

He added: “I could hardly speak or breathe, the paralysis was frightening and I was getting pain from my diaphragm again. It was a terrifying experience.’’

An ambulance was immediately summoned and, with blue lights flashing, he was again rushed to hospital.

He was surrounded by medics on the ward overseeing a series of scans and medical tests, but Hood’s low pulse rate of 39 beats per minute, confused matters even more.

“I was able to explain that as an athlete that regularly ran up to 90 miles each week that this was common to have a pulse rate as low as this.’’

The tests eventually showed that Hood’s wound, where he had the operation, had become inflamed and it was pushing against other vital organs. Anti-biotics were prescribed and the healing process could begin. After a couple of more days in hospital, Hood had responded to the treatment and, feeling much better, made a desperate plea to the specialists to be discharged.

Eventually they agreed that he could go after he explained about his new baby and that he needed to be home to help his wife with the baby’s feeding.

With home matters now under control and beginning to get back on his feet, Hood decided to make the journey to the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

“I didn’t want to miss out as they were presenting prizes for the Sunderland Foundation of Light Lambton Run on the pitch side,’’ he said

Hood won the race by a mile at Lambton Park in June, being the three-times North Eastern Cross Country champions only win so far this year. He has been told to rest for two to three weeks before he can get back to training.

He has cancelled plans to take in the Frankfurt Marathon in October, where last year, suffering with pains in his diaphragm, he was slowed to 2hr 35min 15sec clocking.

No doubt he will be looking to bounce back to form for the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships at Newcastle’s Town Moor on Saturday, December 13.

H Bill Woods, a timekeeper recorder at the Sunderland 5k and Farringdon Cross Country for many years, has died at the age of 75. The Morpeth Harrier was also secretary of British Athletics Premier Men’s League Division One and secretary of the North East Road Running Committee. He was a top road race official and adjudicator as well as a field event official.

H Low Fell Running Club host their Watergate 5k multi terrain race at Lobley Hill tomorrow. The Young Athletes race over 2k starts at 7.00pm. The 5k starts at 7.15pm. The race headquarters are at the Ravensdene Lodge Hotel NE11 0AN.