Three generations of a Wolverhampton family who each laced up their running shoes to take on a race have raised over £600 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, in memory of their son, grandson and brother, who passed away at just two-days-old. 

27-Year-old Mum, Lydia Decourcy took on the Run Alton Towers Half Marathon while her mum, Ruthlyn (55) and six-year-old son, Malachi, took on the 10k and junior races at the theme park, to fundraise for the hospital where Lydia’s youngest son, Elijah, spent his tragically short life. 

Elijah was born in April 2019 at Lydia’s local hospital but the elation of her baby’s arrival soon dissipated as it became clear that Elijah was unwell. Elijah’s condition was deteriorating quickly so he was urgently transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for specialist care. It was there that doctors broke the crushing news that Lydia’s baby had suffered a stroke. The specialist team the hospital did all they could for Elijah but sadly, at just two-days-old, he passed away. 

Nearly five years later, Lydia remembers the devastation of losing her baby boy as if it was yesterday, but she also remembers the kindness and care the hospital staff showed her whole family. It was that kindness that inspired her to sign up and take on the Run Alton Towers Half Marathon. Although Malachi was very young when his baby brother passed away, he knows all about Elijah and just how special he was, and Lydia was touched when Malachi announced he wanted to run too, so she signed him up for the Junior race and Grandma, Ruthlyn, agreed she would run the 10k distance with him. 

Lydia said: “Losing Elijah was heartbreaking but I saw that the wonderful team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital do everything they possibly could for him and then, they did everything they possibly could to support me and my family. They even helped us create a memory box for Elijah. I will always hold the hospital close to my heart. 

“I love running so when I saw the opportunity to take on Run Alton Towers, I took the chance to raise money and say thank you. Malachi wanted to join in so my mum ran to support him. He really enjoyed the rides at the end too.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Losing a child can feel like your whole world has come crashing down around you but we’re so glad our incredible teams were there for Lydia to help her start piecing hers back together again.  

“Everyone remembers and honours their loved ones differently but by taking on the Run Alton Towers races in Elijah’s name and raising such a wonderful amount, Lydia, Ruthlyn and Malachi are helping us do more for sick kids and support families just like theirs.”