Father takes on world’s longest duathlon challenge for under threat Royal Brompton Hospital ward

A man is running the world’s longest duathlon to provide funding for the children’s ward which saved his daughter’s life at the Royal Brompton Hospital in Kensington.

Steve Marwood, 40, will be attempting to complete 330 miles on cycle and foot, starting at Land’s End and finishing at the Royal Brompton, as part of his continued effort to raise money for the Brompton Fountain.

The Brompton Fountain are a charity which provides support for children with serious, often life threatening, medical conditions who are reliant on the care of the experts at the Royal Brompton, the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the United Kingdom.

However, the centre is under threat with a public consultation on plans to end the congenital heart disease (CHD) services at the hospital under way.

The plan could force CHD services to close as well as other services including the hospital’s child intensive care unit.

ON A MISSION: Fundraiser Steve Marwood

Steve, from Rochester, had first-hand experience of the work carried out by the Royal Brompton and the Brompton Fountain, when his daughter Honor was born with a heart problem.

She was looked after at the hospital for five weeks by the doctors and nurses in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, which Steve credits with saving his daughter’s life, whilst the Brompton Fountain also provided immediate support for him and his wife.

Steve said: “We were unfortunate enough to be in a terrible situation.

“The Brompton Fountain was in contact straight away to offer the help and support that we needed.

“Just being able to be close to our daughter while she was in a bad way was a fantastic thing.”

Steve has undergone 40 gruelling physical challenges to raise £40,000 for the Brompton Fountain.

The duathlon – which will run from March 5 until March 11 – will be the final ordeal since starting the string of challenges in March 2016 with a 10k riverside run.

UNDER THREAT: Some wards at the Royal Brompton Hospital may be forced to close

Farid Baree, fundraiser manager at The Brompton Fountain, said: “Steve is an inspiration and selfless.

“His hard work has made a massive difference for all the seriously ill children at Royal Brompton.”

The £40,000 raised will go towards the Brompton Fountain and their £114,000 target to purchase life-saving equipment for the Royal Brompton Hospital, including 19 specialist monitors which will reduce the risk of cross infection.

In particular, the money raised by Steve will go towards the continued funding of Rose Ward, which specialises in the care of babies and children up to the age of 16 with heart and lung problems, who may need medical treatment or immediate surgery.

“I wanted to make sure I finish the whole year in style,” he said.

“This will be the most physically challenging task of them all.

“I would like to say a big thanks to my wife, the real hero in this story, who cared for our three wonderful children while I have been putting in all the training.”

Steve will be live tweeting his duathlon journey at @steves40for40 and you can contribute to Steve’s fund here.

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