Parents who watched marathon runners from the window of a hospital as their nine-month-old child battled meningitis will fulfil a promise they made to themselves – to compete in the same event.

Andy and Emily Squires were told son Thomas had meningitis and required a lumbar puncture on the day of the Brighton Marathon last year.

The marathon route takes runners past the Royal Sussex Hospital where he was being treated.


Thomas – left profoundly deaf as a consequence of meningitis – was in hospital for three weeks and had follow-up operations.

He had numerous CT scans to check the fluid on his brain and an operation in Kings College Hospital, London, to drain the fluid, and was on antibiotics for six weeks.

Speaking yesterday, photographer Mr Squires, from Brighton, said: “Whilst trying to come to terms with the news, we watched the marathon runners passing on the seafront and swore whatever happened we would both run it this year, raising money and awareness for Meningitis Now.

“Thomas miraculously pulled through and has flourished into a healthy, happy boy.

“Sadly the meningitis left him profoundly deaf.

“While the news was devastating, we were blessed to be amongst the lucky ones who made it through this dreadful disease.

“He has now had surgery for cochlear implants and we are all learning to sign.

“Meningitis Now was a great source of information to us throughout a difficult year and also awarded us funding to do our British Sign Language Level 1 course, allowing us to learn alongside Thomas.

“We are so grateful for that and really wanted to give something back.”

He described the lead-up to Thomas’s illness, explaining how he was hot and sickly.

Shortly afterwards, following a visit to the doctors and chemist, Thomas was rushed to accident and emergency and pumped full of antibiotics.

His father continued: “We can’t thank the doctors enough for making that decision, as this is what ultimately saved his life.”

The Squires hope to raise £3,000 for Meningitis Now.