‘I can’t believe how caring people are’ – Stevenage mum forced to pull out of Paris Marathon after dog bite is overwhelmed by public’s response as charity donations continue to pour in

Katie Fisher pictured with her two daughters, Maddie and Lois, was devastated after the dog attack i

Katie Fisher pictured with her two daughters, Maddie and Lois, was devastated after the dog attack in Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage mother who was forced to pull out of Sunday’s Paris Marathon after she was bitten by a dog has said she is amazed at the reaction from the public after online donations reached more than £700.

Katie had run five previous marathons and was overwhelmed when people continued to donate to the Wil

Katie had run five previous marathons and was overwhelmed when people continued to donate to the Willow Foundation even after she had to pull out. - Credit: Archant

Katie Fisher had to have surgery under general anaesthetic at the town’s Lister Hospital to treat the serious bite wound she suffered outside Trotts Hill School in Wisden Road moments after leaving the house for her final training run.

The dog owner – a man believed to be in his 30s – said he would come back to help after taking his dogs home, but he didn’t return.

Katie, who had been left on the ground, had to call her parents for help, and they then rang an ambulance.

The 39-year-old was due to run the race for the Herts-based Willow Foundation charity which provides special days for seriously ill young adults – after two close friends died from cancer in 2013.


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After a Facebook post from Katie’s mum Diane and a subsequent story in the Comet, donations have been flooding in – with Katie overwhelmed by the response.

“It’s fantastic that people have continued to donate, I can’t believe how caring people are,” she said.

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“I’ve had money come in from people I don’t know who saw the story online, it’s been really lovely.”

Paris was to be her sixth and possibly last marathon and, while she is determined to run again, the emotional impact of what happened has taken its toll.

“It is upsetting,” said Katie. “People are saying to me: ‘It’s OK, you’ll run another marathon’ but that’s not the point, I’ll never be able to do that Paris marathon and it was going to be special because it’s my 40th year and the 40th year of the race – I’m gutted.”

Katie, who has children Maddie, 11, and five-year-old Lois with carpenter husband Darren, 43, had a check up at the hospital on Tuesday, and was dealt another blow when she was told she would have to miss out on a family holiday because of her injury.

“The doctors are quite pleased with how it is healing, but say I cannot drive for another two weeks so we’re going to have to miss out on a holiday to my parents’ caravan in Poole. I’m annoyed that it is another thing I’m having to miss out on.

“I appreciate all the donations and support so much, and I do want this man and his dog found because it could be a child next and then it would be much worse.”

To donate to Katie’s marathon charity, visit justgiving.com/katie-fisher3

Police are investigating the attack, which took place on Tuesday last week at about 12.30pm.

The dog is described as fluffy and brown, and was with a man who is described as approximately 5ft 7in tall, of medium build and bald. He was wearing a brown jacket, blue jeans and black boots and he ran off towards the St Nicholas area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101, quoting crime reference E1/16/2118.

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