Father of ‘miracle’ baby to complete charity run after wife’s cancer battle

Paul and Marie Boothroyd with sons Daniel and Oliver
Paul and Marie Boothroyd with sons Daniel and Oliver

A father, whose wife defied doctors’ expectations and gave birth to a second baby after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, will complete the Great South Run to fundraise for the Chichester hospital that cared for his sons.

Marie Boothroyd, of Littlehampton, was still recovering from the difficult birth of her first son Daniel when, just before her 25th birthday, she was told that she and her husband Paul would never conceive again.

A routine cervical screening test had detected cervical cancer and Marie underwent nine long months of treatment.

Paul, 24, said: “It has not been an easy three years for us. After Daniel’s traumatic birth, where he actually died twice in the first 48 hours of his life, we thought that we were over the bad luck.

“However just after Daniel recovered, Marie was told she had cervical cancer which was a huge shock.

“Thankfully the cancer was treatable and Marie fought it so bravely but we were told because of the type, we wouldn’t be able to have any more children.

“Obviously we were very upset that we could not have any more, but we tried to see the positive that we had Daniel and how happy we were with life.”

But just weeks after she was given the all clear in July 2015, Marie found out, to everyone’s surprise, that she was pregnant again.

Paul said: “It was a complete shock.

“When Marie fell ill, we thought at first it spelled trouble and that she would become poorly again, but it turned out to be morning sickness!”

Their second baby boy, Oliver, was born prematurely at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester in May, weighing only 3lbs.

Now that Marie and both sons are healthy, Paul will complete the Great South Run to raise money for the neonatal units at St Richard’s hospital that look after babies like Daniel and Oliver.

He said: “I wanted to fundraise for the neonatal units where premature babies are because early babies need lots of help and the equipment needed is very expensive.

“I love keeping fit in all forms, from running to boxing, and I am a part time personal trainer so the Great South Run seemed perfect for me.”

The 10 mile running event takes place around Portsmouth and Southsea on Sunday, October 23.

Paul said: “My family is doing well and Daniel adores his little brother.

“This year has been looking up and it will be great to end it on a high.”

To register for a place on the Great South Run visit the Great South Run website

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