Bury man raises hundreds of pounds for hospital charity by completing half marathons

Tony Lawrence with Debra Baker (left) and Gemma Cox from West Suffolk Hospital Picture: My WiSH

Tony Lawrence with Debra Baker (left) and Gemma Cox from West Suffolk Hospital Picture: My WiSH - Credit: Archant

A Bury St Edmunds man completed two half marathons in a week to raise hundreds of pounds for a hospital charity in memory of his dad.

Tony Lawrence, 26, ran the Great North Run in Newcastle followed by the Great East Run in Ipswich last September to raise money for the My WiSH Charity, which supports West Suffolk Hospital.

Tony, who works as a traffic operator for a logistics firm in Little Saxham, completed the runs in memory of his father, Malcolm, who was cared for at the Bury St Edmunds hospital.

In October 2017, Malcolm was admitted to West Suffolk and treated for pneumonia.

He was placed in an induced coma and after he woke up, there were hopes that his condition would improve.

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But after a few hours, he suffered a heart attack and died aged 68.

Tony raised £857 from the two events and the money will go towards a bladder scanner for the critical care unit at West Suffolk Hospital.

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Alongside his fundraising, Tony, who lives at Deck Walk on the town’s Howard estate, also wanted to improve his own fitness by taking on the popular races.

“Since this time I have felt passionate about raising money for the hospital as I am thankful for the way in which they cared for my dad and supported my family through this difficult time,” he said.

“The care they provided was compassionate and thorough and the hospital staff were brilliant and I wanted to give something back to them.

“I have also since become motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle and become more active so I took on the challenge to complete the two half marathons.”

A twisted ankle in the Newcastle event one and a half miles into the race did not stop Tony completing the course in two hours and 26 minutes.

The Ipswich race, which he completed in two hours and nine minutes, was also made difficult through a twisted knee 10 miles into the course.

Despite the injury set-backs in both races, Tony said he thoroughly enjoyed the experiences.

“I managed to push through to the end of both races and it has improved my fitness,” he added.

“I have signed up for both events for this year as I enjoyed it so much.”

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