Stevenage runner’s marathon effort for GOSH after niece’s life-saving surgery

Stevenage's Tom McGrath is running a marathon distance to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospit

Stevenage's Tom McGrath is running a marathon distance to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital after staff there took incredible care of his niece. Picture: Leah McGrath - Credit: Archant

The uncle of a baby girl born with her intestines on the outside of her body is running a marathon to raise money for the children’s hospital where she received life-saving surgery.

Tom McGrath, who is from Stevenage, had signed up to run this year’s Brighton Marathon, but the organisers were forced to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, and determined to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital after his niece, Alma Lily Lane, received specialist care there after she was born in July last year, Tom has mapped out his own 26.2 mile course which he will run on October 25.

Alma was born with gastroschisis, which is when the abdominal wall does not form completely so the intestines develop outside the body and are open to the air when the child is born.

The exact cause for this is unknown, with one in 3,000 babies born with the medical condition each year.

Tom said: “Raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital helps me thank the staff for the incredible care they took of my niece, who required urgent surgery at birth due to gastroschisis.

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“The surgeons and then the staff in intensive care and also the high dependency ward all deserve huge praise for the level of care given to not only my niece but also my sister and my brother-in-law.

“The team at GOSH was incredible and that’s why I decided to run for this amazing charity.” For Tom, this will be his first marathon, having run the Stevenage Half Marathon several times and the Stevenage 10k last year too.

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He said: “I decided to challenge myself in 2020 by running a marathon and, while doing so, raising as much money as I can for a wonderful cause close to my heart.

“Training is going well and I am hoping to get the marathon completed in under four hours.

“Please help me raise as much money for this great charity and help me thank them for the care they have given and continue to give to many sick and unfortunate children.”

To sponsor Tom, who has so far raised nearly £700, visit more about GOSH, visit

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