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Hospital staff band together to run marathon distance for colleague who had stroke

PUBLISHED: 21:40 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:40 17 April 2019

Sarah Knapp, back row right, pictured with some of her running colleagues at an earlier event. Photo: NNUH

Sarah Knapp, back row right, pictured with some of her running colleagues at an earlier event. Photo: NNUH

NNUH

A team of more than 20 runners and walkers are preparing for a marathon challenge in support of a friend who was suddenly forced to withdraw from the London Marathon.

Sarah Knapp, a senior registrar within the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), was training for the London Marathon when, several weeks ago, she collapsed at her running club.

Sarah had a stroke and has been treated in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and the NNUH and is now back home where she is having intensive therapy.

Now unable to run the marathon this year, the 39-year-old's friends and colleagues from the NNUH maternity department have decided to run the 26.2 miles for her.

In Sarah's honour, the team will tackle the marathon distance around the hospital grounds on April 28, raising money for Sarah's chosen charity Heads Together and for the maternity fund, part of the N&N Hospitals Charity.

A group of midwives who support each other through running have recruited colleagues from around the department and are hoping that each person will run or walk one mile each. Sarah and her family and friends will also be joining the team on the day with Sarah hoping to walk one mile.

Sarah had planned to run the London Marathon alongside midwives Helen Bowen and Amanda Anderson and will now be showing them support on the day by sending them messages during the race.

Midwife Jo Knox said: “Sarah is a wonderful member of our close-knit team and we wanted to do something to show her the support she has from everyone.

“We felt that taking part together and undertaking the marathon would be a fun way of doing that.”

Sarah added: “Discovering that I'd had a stroke was such a shock, especially as I was the fittest I have ever been.

“However, the love and support that I have received from colleagues, friends and family has been overwhelming.

“I am so grateful to everyone who is taking part in the run and hope that we can raise as much money as possible for Heads Together and the NNUH maternity unit.”

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