Sister act as Sarah steps out for charity

SISTER ACT ... Sarah, left, and Rachel Hambling.
SISTER ACT ... Sarah, left, and Rachel Hambling.

A CARING South Tynesider is stepping out at the Great North Run to raise awareness of a deadly condition which could have claimed the life of her sister.

Sarah Hambling, 31, from South Shields, but who now lives in London, is heading back north with her running shoes to boost funds for Lifeblood, a charity dedicated to researching and raising awareness of thrombosis.

Her sister Rachel Hambling, 28, an occupational therapist at South Tyneside District Hospital, suffered a pulmonary embolism two years after blood clots formed on her lung.

She had gone home from work after feeling unwell and took a nap – but the blood clots formed as she slept.

A phone call from a colleague to check on her health may have saved her life, as she was struggling to breathe properly when she awoke and immediately contacted her GP.

Medics said the embolism she suffered could have killed her as she slept.

She was off work for seven months, and, while she is recovering well, she still requires medical support.

Rachel, from Marsden, is ‘proud’ her sister is taking part in the Great North Run to increase awareness of all forms of thrombosis.

She said: “I was really proud when Sarah said she was running for Lifeblood.

“I had said I would like to do something to raise awareness. Not many people are aware of the charity and it needs support.

“I was off work sick for seven months.

“I was working at the hospital one day and the next I was a patient. It gave me a new perspective on the great work that is done at the hospital.”

Rachel is hoping to organise a charity night next year to further boost the Lifeblood charity.

Sarah added: “This year I will be taking part in the annual Great North Run half-marathon for the second time.

“This year I will be running in support of Lifeblood which is a charity dedicated to raising awareness of thrombosis in the UK.

“My sister developed multiple pulmonary embolisms in January 2011, so me and my family have first-hand experience of how blood clots can dramatically impact a person’s life.

“Thrombosis is often a ‘silent’ medical condition with no obvious signs or symptoms.

“It doesn’t discriminate and can affect people of any age or sex.

“It can very easily be confused with less-serious conditions – a clot in the leg can be mistaken for a sore leg muscle.

“But thrombosis is a leading cause of death in the United Kingdom, yet most people have little or no understanding about its causes and effects and how it can be prevented.”

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Twitter: @shieldsgachris