Raising awareness for her son’s fight, Leah Funge is challenging herself to complete 7 physically demanding events this year to mark the 7 minutes that Oscar was being revived – including a Tough Mudder 10K at London South. Challenging her body to do all the physical things Oscar would do.
We caught up with Leah to support the cause and share her and her family’s incredible story.
Hear from Leah about why she’s taking on this challenge along with Oscar’s story.
The Challenges She’s Taking On
- 5K Colour Run on 27 May, 2023
- Sky Dive in July, 2023
- Bungee Jump – 5 August, 2023
- Open Water Swim on 26 August, 2023
- 10K Tough Mudder at London South on 24 September, 2023
- Europe’s Longest Zip Line in 7th October, 2023
- Abseil – TBC
Oscar was born at 41 weeks after having a ‘textbook’ pregnancy. During his delivery, things took a turn and he was deprived of Oxygen for around 20 minutes. He suffered a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy event, which means his brain was deprived of blood and oxygen. In essence, when he was born, he was blue and floppy, and it took 7 minutes to revive him.
Oscar was transferred to a specialist neonatal unit to receive cooling treatment, where his body was cooled to below the human temperature to prevent his brain from having any further damage and giving it a chance to repair.
When Oscar was 7 days old he had an MRI which detailed the extent of his injury. The specialists advised that Oscar would likely have long-term physical and developmental challenges.
The name Oscar means to be a warrior. After showing incredible bravery and fight, Leah and Mark decided it would be an appropriate name. A certain true fit.
Fast forward to 2020, Oscar had been on and off a feeding tube for his first year. He had physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and lots of hospital trips. You name it, Oscar had been involved in it. Then, the day before lockdown, Leah and Mark found out that Oscar has Cerebral Palsy. To be told this, even though they had spent a lot of time with doctors and in therapies, really hit hard.
Now it is 2023, Oscar is an incredibly bright, cheeky, and determined 3-year-old boy. His injury has affected his physical ability. Oscar can’t walk, or move independently without the aid of specialist equipment.
To put it into context, a private physio session costs £80/hr, hippotherapy £48/30 minutes, occupational therapy is £67/hr, and equipment is in the thousands.
Due to the injury Oscar has suffered, he is not eligible for the surgery available on the NHS.
This surgery is called selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). This is an incredible surgery that would stop the signals going to his muscles telling them to stiffen up. Giving him the chance to relearn how to use his muscles and potentially walk on his own.
How To Get Involved And Support
If you’d like to donate and support Leah and Oscar, please visit their page, here.
Any support would be greatly appreciated.