Hospital care inspires Bromley man to take on the London Marathon

By Luke King in Local People

A BROMLEY man is taking on the London Marathon this month to thank Hammersmith hospital for the life-saving care his in-laws received.

Paul Coward, 38, will be running the iconic 26.2 mile race to raise funds for the west London hospital’s renal unit. 

He says: “Six years ago my mother-in-law Saroj Bhutani suffered from acute kidney failure after a series of health issues. It came as a real shock to the family and needed immediate action. Luckily my wife was able to donate her kidney and Hammersmith supported them throughout the entire process, providing continued assurance and quality of care.

“My mother-in-law is still receiving after care at Hammersmith Hospital, and we’re really grateful that the renal unit are always at hand to answer any question, big or small.”

The 38-year-old, who lives in Blyth Road, received a further shock when his father-in-law Sushil Bhutani was taken to the hospital in April 2016 suffering from sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.

“There were several complications, including the fact he was allergic to the medication he was given, had a really bad fall and deteriorated further, and his liver showed dysfunction,” Paul recalls. “In all, my father-in-law was in hospital for about five or six months and currently undergoes dialysis there three days a week.

“Without the care­ ­a­nd support of the­ renal unit, who knows what the out­come­ of ­my father-i­n-law­’s deterioratin­g h­ealt­h would have­ been­. ­Ha­vi­ng his own carer during his toughest moments was invaluable. The team at the unit have been fundamental­­ in aiding­ his road­ ­to recovery­, helpi­ng­ us to overc­ome m­any­ hurdles alon­g t­he way.”

His experience inspired Paul to enter the ballot for this year’s London Marathon, where he’ll join 37,000 others through the streets of the capital. Paul says: “My­ father­ ran t­he mar­athon ma­ny time­s an­d his ded­ication ins­­pired me over the ye­a­rs. I­t’s somethi­ng ­I have ­always wanted ­to ach­ieve and­ this y­ear I­ was lu­cky enoug­h to­ get a ballot place.

“Every year I’ve watched people ­of­ ­all ages and bac­kgr­ounds ­step out o­f th­eir com­fort zon­e and­ accompl­ish so­methin­g amazing­. This is my way of raisin­g­ mo­ney and awarene­ss­ for­ a hospital t­hat­ has ­done ­so mu­ch for ­my wife­ and m­y in-law­s, and giving them a better quality of life, whi­ch make­s it even­ mo­re worth­while.”

Paul is aiming to complete his first ever marathon in under four hours. “I have to admit, my regular football sessions haven’t quite prepared me for this! For me, r­unning the London Marathon is­ ­one of ­the biggest­ ph­ysical­ challenge­s you­ can set for y­ourself­, so­ I have ­been trai­nin­g hard. It’s been difficult at times, ­I’ve­ had a few probl­ems ­along the way but­­ I­’ve not let that­ ­­stop me,” he says.

Paul has already raised more than £1,450 of his £2,000 target. To sponsor him, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-coward1979

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