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Lichfield personal trainer running London Marathon in support of woman who lost her son in road accident

A Lichfield personal trainer is preparing to run the London Marathon in memory of the 11-year-old son of one of his clients after his death in a road accident.

Raul Romero was training Lesley Knight last year when she told him about the death of her only child, Tom, and the work she had been doing for hospital helipad charity the HELP Appeal.

Raul Romero and Lesley Knight

Raul Romero and Lesley Knight

The 39-year-old, who owns Ambition Personal Training in Lichfield, decided he wanted to help too and decided to take on the 26-mile challenge in April for the cause.

Lesley said: “When my son was airlifted by air ambulance to the hospital, they had to land at a police station opposite – it was the closest place at the time.

“As you can imagine a huge crowd of people gathered to see the air ambulance,” she said. “It was the most harrowing experience anyone can go through as I did not want them to see Tom being wheeled into the hospital.

“The slick operation of getting us to hospital was let down by the fact we had to land on the road as there was no helipad on site.”

But despite the best efforts of hospital staff, Tom could not be saved.

Raul is now hoping to help the organisation add to the 20 hospital helipads it has already built across the UK.

He said: “I train Lesley every week in my classes, yet I never knew that she lost her only child until recently. It’s truly heartbreaking, no mother should have to go through that.

“She is an incredible and very inspiring woman to not only myself, but to my other clients too and everyone she meets.

“When I found out, I knew straight away I had to support her in my own way, so when I heard of the HELP Appeal, it was the perfect match to then run the London Marathon along the way.

“I have been training for it over the last few weeks, and even when it snowed I was out running. Knowing that every step would be for her, inspired me to go out and continue.

“I am looking forward to seeing her along the route and giving her a big hug at the end. I am asking all my other clients who know her and friends to also help raise the money.

“Helipads save time and save lives so hopefully everything I raise can go towards building the next one – it could save someone’s life.”

Raul is hoping to raise £800. People can sponsor him via his JustGiving page.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.