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Nailsea family on Great North Run fundraiser for meningitis 

A family from Nailsea is going north for a charity run to raise money for meningitis research.

It has been organised by NHS recruiter Lucy Worthington, aged 25, who will be joined for the tough 13+ miles by parents Brett, 50, and Victoria, 43, brother Josh and his girlfriend Izzy Fudge, 21.

Josh, 23, is currently recovering from a near-fatal bout of meningitis and it is the family’s way of doing something positive after the traumatic experience.

The fab five will be raising research funds by completing the Great North Run on Sunday, September 10, but before that they must endure a strict 12-week training regime.

Dad is a civil servant and mum works as an outpatient services performance and operations manager at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust.

Undergraduate Izzy is at Oxford Brookes University doing business and marketing management and works part-time at Nailsea Tesco.

Newcastle native Victoria was a spectator when Brett first competed in the Great North Run back in 2005 but we don’t have his time!

Victoria did train for a Bristol half marathon but had to give up her place due to emergency spinal surgery, according to Lucy.

She hasn’t run since but says ‘if Josh can go through what he has and come out the other side I’m prepared to take part even if it means walking every step rather than running’.

The Newcastle run is the biggest half marathon in the world!

The route goes from city to coast, crossing the iconic Tyne Bridge alongside athletes, celebrities and 57,000 fellow runners.

Josh, a former student at Nailsea School who enjoyed boxing bouts at Nailsea & Backwell RFC where dad was the coach, caught the deadly bug in January.

Although he is on the slow road to recovery Lucy is aware others haven’t made it and more vital medical research is needed.

She posted on her fundraising page: “This year, my family and I are taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for the wonderful charity Meningitis Research Foundation UK.

“On January 9 this year, my fit and healthy 23-year-old brother Josh started to feel unwell.

“He had a rash, headaches, flu symptoms, sensitivity to light and was extremely tired - which we now know to be classic meningitis symptoms.

“Within six hours of being told by his GP that it was a viral infection and sent home, he was found by us in bed, unresponsive.

“Josh was rushed into ICU and placed on life support for nearly five days while doctors worked tirelessly to try and save his life.

“They ran CT scans and did a lumbar puncture which confirmed the worst and Josh was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. 

“All we could think as a family was how could this happen? How did we miss the obvious signs?

“Why did we not get him help sooner? 

“After two weeks in hospital, he was discharged, but his road to recovery is going to be long.

“He still has hearing, sight and balance issues which we hope will improve but it is still uncertain.

“As a family, we want to do this for him, to raise awareness for others who may not have a clue what meningitis is or just how badly it can go wrong and just how quickly it can go downhill.

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Josh girlfriend.jpg

FAB FIVE: Top from left Brett, Lucy, Josh and Victoria. Below Izzy and Josh - training photos to come later...

“One in 10 people who get this type of meningitis die and one in five have severe complications including brain damage, deafness and blindness.

“Josh is expected to make a full recovery, but too many people like him are not as lucky.

“ The charity is working very hard to make more people aware of the signs and symptoms, helping more people seek help when they need to and supporting scientists, researchers and public health practitioners to better understand meningitis, it's impact on people's lives, and what we can do to defeat it.

“The hopeful outcome of this is making meningitis a global health priority.  

“If you would like to donate to my cause, any donation would be very gratefully received!”

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