SSNAP would like to say a huge thank you and "keep going" shout out to incredible Paul Masters, who has set himself the epic challenge of running 365 miles in 365 days, even though, previous to starting this fundraising challenge, he had never run before!
Paul and his wife Siobhan, set up 'Running for the Boys' as a tribute to their precious twin boys James and Ryan. Siobhan and Paul sadly said goodbye to James and Ryan just over a year ago. To date they have raised a staggering £15,300 for the three charities that supported them most; SSNAP, Helen House Hospice and Oxford Hospitals.
Paul has now run an epic 253 miles and is hoping to undertake his final mile from the John Radcliffe Hospital to Helen House Hospice in November . Please dig deep to help this inspirational family in smashing their incredible £18,000 target in tribute to their sons James and Ryan. Thank you. Team SSNAP xxxx
"The 5th August 2020 was meant to be the happiest day of our lives. Our twin boys James and Ryan were finally making their way into the world.
Little did we know that events had already taken an awful turn. When trying to locate our boys heartbeats before the planned c-section they were unable to find a heartbeat for our biggest twin (James) the heartbeat for our smaller twin (Ryan) was low and the twins and Siobhan were rushed into emergency surgery at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Over the next 30 minutes we would learn James was sadly born sleeping and Ryan although still with us was in a very serious condition.
He was moved to the John Radcliffe in Oxford. Over the next 5 and a half days having been cooled to try and prevent brain seizures and managing multiple organ failure we finally had to make the heartbreaking decision to let him go and join his brother.
However in his usual fighting way when the machines that were keeping him alive were removed he kept breathing on his own and although nothing could be done for him he kept holding on for that bit longer. He was entering what became know as 'Ryan Time'.
We got transferred to Helen House hospice to spend what we knew were the final hours/days with Ryan. He finally left us after a further 3 and a half days, on 14th August.
The reason I am doing this fundraiser is because quite honestly without the support of these 3 charities I honestly don't think we could have got through what was the most awful and challenging time.
When we arrived at the John Radcliffe we were allowed to bring James across with us. Thanks to the Ashfield Bereavement Suite he was able to stay with us in our room in a 'cool cot' so we could take all the time we needed to say goodbye whilst still being able to be close to Ryan in the NICU downstairs. This suite is charity funded through the Oxford Hospitals Charity and for anyone going through child bereavement it is so vital to get those extra few moments with your child to grieve.
The charity SSNAP (support for the sick newborn and their parents) really helped us through too. Whilst we were sitting by Ryan's bedside for all the waking hours we could manage it was hard to remember to look after ourselves. They provided us with food and snacks to keep us going. They also provided us with a pram to go out for a walk in the grounds with Ryan in the time we got between taking off the machines and going to Helen House which gave us some lovely memories and Ryan the chance to feel the sun and wind on his face.
Finally Helen House were superb. Giving us the chance to spend 3 days with Ryan going for walks around the grounds. Reading him story books and films to watch together, all the things we had dreamed of doing but never thought we would get the chance. They provide anything we needed to make all the memories we could whilst offering us constant support and reassurance that when the time came they would be there for us. They also fed us and even checked in on him every hour through the night so we could get some well needed sleep.
Without charity funding these things could not keep running and I couldn't begin to imagine how hard it would be to go through any child loss without these things in place. So please do what you can so other parents get the same support we had.
That's why I am going to be running to keep them running. 365 miles over 365 days. I will aim to run a mile a day but any days I miss means I will just have to go that little bit further to catch up.
Thank you so much for your support, it really means so much to us and to others going through what has to be the worst thing in the world, losing a child."
Paul & Siobhan
Paul and Siobhan with Baby Ryan in the pram donated by SSNAP
Running yet another mile in his SSNAP t-shirt
Gorgeous Twin boys James and Ryan xxx