Rugby friends inspired to run marathon

Claire Wragg and Emma Timms are running for the air ambulance. NNL-170322-173840001
Claire Wragg and Emma Timms are running for the air ambulance. NNL-170322-173840001

They have very different reasons for running the London Marathon but two friends from Rugby have trained together for the big day.

Claire Wragg and Emma Timms met when their daughters went to the same dance school and are now counting down to the race on April 23.

Claire has been inspired by her son Stephen’s extraordinary comeback from a head injury after being knocked down outside the family home, aged nine, in August 2012.

He was taken by land ambulance to Walsgrave where it was discovered he had a fracture to his skull. He was put into an induced coma while they waited for the air ambulance.

Claire said: “When the air ambulance arrived we couldn’t go in it with him, it was awful. When we got to Birmingham Stephen was on the intensive care unit with a bolt in his head to measure his pressure in his brain. 

“The medical staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) were amazing and the air ambulance got him there within six minutes, they were amazing too. 

“Stephen was in BCH for just over nine days and in a coma for four days.”

He made a full recovery and has gone onto get his black belt at G FORCE martial Arts and also silver medallist at the WMO world championships in Rugby in 2015. 

Claire added: “I took up running in August 2013 because I wanted to give something back to this vital service without which Stephen may not be here.

“When I feel like giving up Stephen always says to me, ‘Keep going mum you can do it, I did’ – and I keep pushing.”

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Emma is a cardiac nurse in Coventry and Rugby and said: “I have chosen to run for the air ambulance service as it is a charity whose work I see daily within the busy emergency department that I work. The air ambulance often brings us our most poorly patients whose chances of survival are vastly improved by the expedient expert care this life-saving charity provides.”

A mum of three, Emma has her own inspirational story to tell as she reaches the final stage of her training.

She said: “In 2012 my life changed. One day whilst at work I collapsed, my health began to go through phases of feeling well, to feeling like even getting out of bed was an effort.

“My symptoms were managed but I never felt in control. In February 2015, I was diagnosed with a condition called POTS or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

“This is an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing. It typically causes dizziness, fainting and other symptoms.”

After a big flare-up in October 2015 she was left wondering if she would get back to work and running a marathon was nowhere on her horizon.

But after a change of medication she started swimming and then running.

She said: “Over the last year I have learnt to embrace my condition and worked very hard to manage it. It is going to be a huge undertaking but one I look forward to for such a worthy cause.”

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