Heart op toddler Lacie-Blayke Rudd inspires family, friends and her community to raise thousands for Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Credit: Ian Burt
As a thank you to Great Ormond Street Hospital for saving his baby daughter's life Lee Rudd vowed to raise £5,000.
But with the support of friends, family and businesses the fund set up by the distribution manager and part-time DJ from Dereham is set to top £9,000.
Little Lacie-Blayke, now 18 months old, was in surgery for six hours to correct a right-sided aortic arch in her heart, on August 5 last year.
The operation was a complete success and the toddler should now only need three-yearly check-ups.
To kickstart the fund Mr Rudd was planning to run the Hackney half marathon this year but then found out his application to run the London Marathon was successful. He completed the race in four hours, 33 minutes, but before he set one foot on the London streets he had reached his £5,000 target.
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An Easter party he organised with friend Christopher Ralphs brought in another £1,000 and friend Clinton Jones added a further £811 by taking on a sponsored skydive.
Mr Rudd's wife Maxine has also been raising money at the hairdressing salon Sophisticuts in Dereham where she works.
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Salon owner Cheryl Sturman is being sponsored to lose four stone in weight and they have held raffles with generous prizes donated by customers.
Ms Sturman said: 'We have been through everything with Maxine from her pregnancy to the birth and the operation so this was the least I could do. The support from the community is overwhelming.'
Mr Rudd, who has applied to run next year's London Marathon, said he was astounded by the amount raised.
'When I started the fundraising I was scratching my head as to how we would do it but thanks to friends, family and customers through work it has been amazing,' he said.
'It is the sort of money that can buy some vital equipment for the hospital to save lives but even if it pays for a room for families to stay close to their kids while they are in hospital I will be happy.'
Mr Rudd said Lacie-Blayke is like any normal toddler, but 'more trouble than my other daughters put together'.
He said: 'She is doing really well. The hospital really rallied round when we needed them so we took it upon ourselves to raise a bit of money to say thank you.'