Dad to run marathon in memory of tragic baby son

Marathon man Adam Wallace
Marathon man Adam Wallace
  • Dad to run London Marathon for Ronald Macdonald House
  • Twin Riley born nine weeks premature
  • Pressure in lungs increased after open heart surgery
  • Clitheroe businesses support fund-raising dad

A Clitheroe dad whose son died after major heart surgery will pound the streets of London in April to repay a charity that cared for his family 13 years ago.

Adam Wallace (36) will don his trainers to run London Marathon’s 26 miles on Sunday, April 26th, in aid of Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool.

Twins Riley and Cara Wallace

Twins Riley and Cara Wallace

The ex-pupil of St James’ Primary School, Clitheroe, hopes to raise £1,500 to thank the charity, which provided a free room for his family in 2001 while his newborn son, Riley, was fighting for his life.

In 2001, Adam’s twin children Riley and Cara were born. During the pregnancy, abnormalities were discovered with Riley’s heart and numerous hospital visits followed. Once the twins arrived after 31 weeks at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, there was both excitement and concerns for Adam, as not only were there complications, but the babies were also nine weeks from full-term.

Adam recalls the moment the twins were born, saying: “Riley was 4lb and Cara 3lb 7oz, both tiny babies, but miracles of life. Cara was allowed home after a while, but Riley was transferred to Alder Hey for the operations needed to save his life.

“After two weeks of his little life, he underwent an operation to open a valve in his heart. This was successful and gave him the time needed to grow and build strength towards his major surgery to mend his heart.

The charity supports the families of children in the hospital, providing facilities and a place to get some much-needed rest. Knowing you’re close by should anything happen is massively important and this is provided with just charity donations

Dad Adam Wallace

“Finally, on November 6th, after two cancelled operations, the time came for him to have his open heart surgery. During this time and the 27 hours he was in theatre, we were given a room in the Ronald McDonald House. This provided a home-from-home atmosphere where we could try to relax, having the option to stay for as many days as needed.”

Riley’s operation was successful, but the pressure in his lungs was too great for him to be taken back off the heart and lung machine that was keeping him alive. He passed away on November 7th, aged just four-and-a-half months.

Adam, who moved to Accrington in 2004 and works as a security manager at the town’s Tesco store, says he wants to pay back the Ronald McDonald charity.

“The charity supports the families of children in the hospital, providing facilities and a place to get some much-needed rest. Knowing you’re close by should anything happen is massively important and this is provided with just charity donations.”

Ronald McDonald House has helped more than 20,000 families in its 84 family rooms since it opened 20 years ago, and costs £600,000 a year to run.

Adam, who lives with his fiance Jasmine, said Cara is now 14 and doing well at Ribblesdale High School Technology College, Clitheroe. He is urging the Ribble Valley community to dig deep into their pockets and donate to this worthwhile cause. He is being supported by local businesses such as Stansfields Deli, in Castle Street, whose owner Richard Atkinson and staff are fundraising.

Adam said: “Please give generously.”. Anyone wishing to support Adam can do so by logging on to www.justgiving.com/adamwallace-riley.