Bristol man runs marathons in aid of childbirth death research

Mark Joy took part in the unofficial marathons to raise money for research into amniotic fluid embolism

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A man whose sister died from a rare condition during childbirth, has run the distance of seven marathons in seven consecutive days.

Mark Joy completed the unofficial marathons to raise money for research into amniotic fluid embolism.

During labour, amniotic fluid entered Lisa Waterman's bloodstream, which killed her and her son, Louie.

Mr Joy, from Bristol, completed his final run along the Camel Trail, in Cornwall on Thursday.

Mrs Waterman, who was 34 and also from Bristol, died in December 2011.

Lives 'destroyed'

Her sister, Debbie Mulford-Joy, who is from Liskeard in Cornwall, said: "It is a rare condition... we were just extremely, extremely unlucky."

• Amniotic Fluid Embolism

  • A very rare but severe complication of pregnancy
  • It is estimated that it may affect between 10 and 100 women in the UK each year
  • The main symptom is sudden collapse during, or immediately after labour or delivery
  • Other symptoms can include: breathing problems, low blood pressure, palpitations and dizziness, and severe bleeding problems frequently follow the initial symptoms
  • Diagnosis is very difficult and a number of other conditions need to be ruled out
  • Treatment varies and usually involves treating symptoms the woman has, including particular treatment for the associated bleeding problems
  • Many women require treatment in intensive care

Source: Wellbeing of Women

On Mr Joy's JustGiving page, he said: "Lisa would have been a perfect mother and Louie would have been the luckiest baby in the world, with parents who would have loved him to bits.

"The day Louie was to be born was going to be so perfect, with the creation of new life. Instead lives were destroyed."

Mr Joy is raising money for the charity Wellbeing of Women, which works to improve the health of women and babies.

He said: "I wanted to do something for my sister and Louie, and I thought the best thing was to raise money for a charity.

"I've completed one marathon and I knew I was capable of running the long distance, but I wanted it to be a proper challenge.

"I got to day four and hit a wall, but I was able to push through it and maintain a pace."

Mr Joy said he travelled by "planes, trains and automobiles" to get from one location to the next, which included Dublin, Glasgow, Bristol, Exeter and Padstow.

He said all the runs were the same distance as a marathon, which is 26.2 miles (42.1 km).

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