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Abbots Bromley runner’s marathon effort for hospital that saved Swadlincote cousin’s life

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 27, 2014

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A WOMAN who works for the BBC’s top radio station has revealed how she took part in a half marathon to raise money for the hospital unit that saved her cousin’s life.

Radio team assistant Gena Hollyoake went from being unfit to lacing up her trainers to raise £1,062.22 for the Nottingham Hospitals Charity by completing the Lichfield half marathon.

The 25-year-old decided to undertake the challenge after her cousin Elliot Endacott-Jones was involved in a road accident which left him with severe brain injuries.

He spent weeks in a critical condition and a month in the adult intensive care Unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.

“Little by little, he began to improve and against the odds he finally reached a stable condition,” said the Abbots Bromley resident.

“This ward saved my cousin’s life and no amount of money will ever re-pay them for that.

“I know what it’s like for the families. I wanted to help the patients and the staff and contribute to the ward so they can improve the lives of the people who are unfortunate to find themselves in there.”

Miss Hollyoake, who is a radio team assistant for BBC Radio 1 in London and also works for the BBC’s Asian network, last year pledged to run the half marathon during a family gathering.

“At the time, I was probably the most unfit I have ever been in my life, but all my family were there and witnessed it so I had to stick with it,” she said.

As soon as it opened, I signed up and put it on Facebook so I couldn’t back out.”

She completed her marathon in two hours and 22 minutes.

Mr Endacott-Jones, 22, lives with his parents Keith and Sharron Endacott-Jones at Overseal, near Swadlincote.

Jenny Wing, head of fund-raising and communications at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “What a great effort it was to go from someone who couldn’t run a mile to someone who completed a half marathon four months later.

“We’d like to thank Gena for this very generous donation, and congratulate her on her achievement.”

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