A group of 20 mums from Kings Hill will pull on their trainers this month to complete a 10k run for Meningitis UK. Their efforts are in support of five-month-old Beth Antoun, who was diagnosed with the serious illness at just 12 days old.
Crossing the finishing line of the Chilham Castle challenge, in Canterbury, on Sunday, October 20, will be the youngster’s mum, Catherine.
The 41-year-old, who lives in Hayes Walk with husband Rob and their three other children – Jake, eight, Scott, five, and three-year-old Luke – sprung into action when she noticed her newborn daughter was struggling to breathe.
“I could tell something wasn’t right,” she said. “I looked for a rash and there wasn’t one, but when I took off her babygrow, I saw her feet were purple and I called the NHS helpline immediately. An ambulance arrived 10 minutes later, and we were taken to Pembury A&E.
Nurses first thought Beth had a chest infection, but soon realised she had developed Group B Strep Meningitis. Beth was transferred to Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where she spent a week in intensive care.
After a further three weeks of treatment and hospital visits, the tot was able to return home.
Doctors, who praised Mrs Antoun for saving her daughter’s life with her quick thinking, warned the family of possible brain and sight damage, but Beth appears to be growing into a healthy child.
Mrs Antoun said: “It really was touch and go at times. We’re just relieved she seems to be okay, and we can be a family again.”
The mother of four said she wouldn’t have been able to get through the ordeal without the support of her neighbours.
She added: “The other mums have been amazing. During the May half-term, they took care of all the boys for us. They took them out and really helped us. And now we’re all doing this 10k run.”
The group, dubbed Beth’s Buddies, has already raised almost £3,000 for the charity.
Kings Hill Primary and Pre Schools are holding a dress-down day for the mums on October 18. Sponsor the runners at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/beths-buddies.