Houghton dad taking on Great North Run to thank charity for keeping him by sons bedside during brain surgery

A dad from Houghton is taking on the Great North Run to thank a charity who supported his family while his son underwent brain surgery.

By Sam Johnson
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 5:00 am
Charlie Yorke with his Mam and Dad, Josh and Courtni
Charlie Yorke with his Mam and Dad, Josh and Courtni

Charlie Yorke underwent major brain surgery at just 8 months old after being born with a severe arachnoid cyst – so large that it took up two thirds of the left side of his skull.

After undergoing four hours of surgery at Newcastle’s RVI in November 2020, Charlie recovered in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, where his family were offered a place to stay by The Sick Children’s Trust, which runs Crawford House.

Now, to give something back to the charity, Charlie’s Dad, Josh Yorke, 31, from Houghton-le-Spring, is lacing up his trainers to complete the Great North Run on behalf of the charity, with hopes of raising £1000.

Josh Yorke, 31 and his son Charlie

During Charlie’s recovery, Josh and his wife Courtni, were given a bedroom in the ‘Home From Home’ which is just a few minutes walk away from the RVI.

Josh said: “As a result of COVID restrictions only one of us could be at Charlie’s side before and after the operation, which meant the other would have needed to go home.

“Fortunately for us though, the Great North Children’s hospital were able to contact Crawford House and arrange a room for us to stay and use as we felt necessary for four days, meaning neither of us had to go home. We could also both spend time with our son, and alternate throughout the day and night to be by his side.”

Not only will Josh be hoping to complete the iconic half marathon on Sunday September 12, it’s likely that Charlie, who is now 16 months old, will be undergoing another surgery around this time.

Charlie and his Mum Courtni

Josh added: “I’ve wanted to do the Great North Run for a long time, but only for a charity which I’ve had experience of and believe in. The support that The Sick Children’s Trust gave me and my wife last November was incredible.”

In addition to the Great North Run, Josh and 12 friends cycled the Coast to Coast earlier this year to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, and are taking donations via their Just Giving page.

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Charlie in hospital at Newcastle RVI