A PAIR of proud parents will be back on the start line for next month’s Great North Run – in support of the hospital that has twice helped save their daughter’s life.
Grateful Mohammad Qazi and wife Shazeb are going the extra mile for the Freeman Hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit Fund (Chuf) to thank the dedicated team of doctors who have supported three-year-old Llana, who received a new heart after spending almost eight months at the Newcastle facility.
Little Llana was given the new heart aged just nine months in February 2012, after being kept alive by a mechanical Berlin Heart when suffering from a condition called cardiomyopathy.
Fundraising for the vital cause has run in the family ever since Llana’s fight for life.
Mr Qazi, 54, and Mrs Qazi, 42, have taken part in both Great North Runs since Llana’s spell in hospital, with sons Jassan and Saad and daughter Maria also joining them on the 13.1-mile route.
This year they be awaiting the starters’ gun with son Ahmed, 18, after a year in which the hospital has again come to their aid.
Llana was back at the Freeman in February after her body rejected the donor heart she received two years ago.
But with the round-the-clock support of medical staff, she was able to return to her home in Dean Road, South Shields, just three weeks later.
Such was her recovery she was able to enjoy a fantastic third birthday party at the family’s restaurant ,Frydays fish and chip shop in East Smithy Street, South Shields.
Mr Qazi says the family supports the charity all-year round – and are always ready to step out for the Great North Run.
He said: “We will be taking part in the Great North Run again this year.
“Myself and my wife will be joined by our son Ahmed.
“We always have a charity collection at the restaurant to raise money for Chuf.
“We are so grateful to them. Llana is doing very well.
“We are very thankful to everyone who donates to the charity.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor the Qazi family’s fundraising effort can drop in to the restaurant on East Smithy Street.
For more information on Chuf, log onto www.chuf.org.uk