Running for Layla

Great North Run entrant Kelly Alton.
Great North Run entrant Kelly Alton.
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CARING Kelly Alton is gearing up for a challenge in aid of a little girl she’s never even met.

Kelly, 31, said she was reduced to tears when she heard about battling baby Layla Davis, who was diagnosed with several heart defects.

The Echo revealed last month how eight-month-old Layla was fighting back to health after having pioneering heart surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Layla’s mum, Amanda, 29, said: “When she came out of surgery, she was so sick, she was sedated, almost paralysed and I really thought we were going to lose her.”

Layla, of Hall Farm, who was born on June 7 with a catalogue of heart defects, is now off the critical list and on a ward at the hospital.

Her story has inspired Kelly to lace up her running shoes for the 13.1 mile Great North Run in September to raise cash for Layla and the CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund) charity.

Kelly, who works for an estate agents in Peterlee, said: “I heard about Layla’s story as a friend of mine is friends with her mum, and when I saw her on Facebook I just cried.

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’ve always wanted to do something to raise money and this story has really motivated me to do it.

“I’ll be running in Layla’s name for the CHUF charity, so hopefully people will sponsor me and I can raise a lot of money because the Freeman really does a fantastic job for children like Layla and others in the same situation.

“I’ve been in touch with Layla’s mum on Facebook and she’s really grateful that I’m doing the run.”

To sponsor Kelly, visit

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho