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Couple run marathon challenge to raise money for hospitals who cared for their baby before she died

A couple from Lewisham will be completing a marathon challenge to raise money for three London charities that cared for their baby before she died.

Wayne Flanagan and Claire Nash’s daughter, Jade Peacock Nash, was born on January 9, 2021, but died just ten days later.

The couple are raising money for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Charity, Evelina’s Children’s Hospital and Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

Wayne, 34, will be running four marathons in 21 days.

The pair will finish the challenge by running the London Marathon on October 3, dressed as their baby’s namesake, the peacock.

Baby Jade was born at University Hospital Lewisham in January this year, but during childbirth there was a complication which resulted in her losing oxygen to her brain.

Claire, 33, said: “Although it was unbelievably scary, it was a beautiful moment where I got to meet my daughter.

“Jade was laid on my stomach for a few seconds but then the medical staff took her away. I was unaware of the severity of the situation until I saw the nurses and doctors resuscitating Jade.”

Because of the seriousness of Jade’s condition, she was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Evelina Children’s Hospital in Central London.

She was then transferred to Demelza Hospice Care for Children in Eltham on January 18, where family members were able to meet her, despite strict Covid restrictions.

Here she met her four-year-old brother Elijah, who had chosen her middle name, Peacock.

Jade passed away on January 19 after her ventilator was removed the previous day.

Wayne and Claire set up a fundraising page in Jade’s memory with “Let kindness be her legacy” as the motto – which was something a friend had said to them at Jade’s funeral. 

Within a matter of weeks Jade had raised over £30,000 to be shared between Lewisham, Evelina and Demelza. 

Claire said: “It’s baby Jade’s gift. In the few days we had with her, she opened our eyes to the generosity and selflessness of such incredible people, who wrapped us up in love and support.”

All funds raised in Jade’s memory are going toward funding initiatives for staff wellbeing.

“We want to raise awareness of the experiences of those working on the frontline of healthcare,” said Claire. 

After the loss of Jade, Wayne started running for his own wellbeing in an attempt to understand his grief.

He will take part in the Brighton, Goodwood, London marathons as well as their own very special event – The Little Peacock Marathon. 

The route follows Jade’s journey, starting at University Hospital Lewisham, onto the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Demelza’s hospice in Eltham and finishing at Honor Oak Crematorium.

Wayne said: “As running has helped me with my own wellbeing, it felt right to commit to a running challenge to raise support, awareness and funds for the wellbeing of those that looked after us.

“We had 10 glorious days with Jade thanks to everyone at UHL, Evelina and Demelza. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for not only giving us those 10 days but making them as memorable as we could possibly have wanted in the circumstances.

 “Aside from their medical expertise, the love, support and compassion extended to us by the amazing people at Lewisham, Evelina and Demelza showed us a side to humanity we are truly grateful to have seen during our darkest hour as a family.”

You can support Wayne and Claire’s fundraising efforts by sharing Jade’s story and by donating here: http://bit.ly/TheFlyingPeacocks

Pictured top: Wayne Flanagan and Claire Nash with a picture of their baby, Jade Peacock Nash

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