Toddler saved after her heart is repaired using jugular vein from a COW… now father will run 2,013km in a year as a thank you to doctors

Toddler saved after her heart is repaired using vein from a COW… now father will run 2,013km this year as a thank you to doctors
Caitlin Hartley born with rare heart defect that meant she had one large artery that sent too much blood to her lungsToddler has battled through four operations, during which her heart stopped for three minutes and one lung collapsedHer parents describe her as a 'bundle of energy'Father vows to run the equivalent of a marathon a week during 2013 to raise money for hospital that has repeatedly saved his daughter

Caitlin went back in to have a stent fitted to reduce the pressure on her heart, but impressed her parents with her fighting spirit.

‘Caitlin never lets anything keep her down,' her mother said.

'After the second operation, she was taken to intensive care but the first night she ripped out all her lines, took herself off the ventilator and wanted to eat yoghurt.’

Caitlin also suffered a collapsed lung but again she pulled through and was out of hospital within seven days.

Mrs Hartley said: ‘She likes to keep us on our toes.’

A second open heart operation came in August 2012 and in October she had three further stents put in.

Now Mr Hartley, 35, has pledged to run 2,013km in 2013 to raise 10,000 – to be matched by his employer Standard Life – for the children's hospital that has saved Caitlin's life so many times.

So far, he has signed up to eight marathons, half marathons and 10ks around the country to help him hit the target. Since January 1st he has managed to run 188km (117miles) – the equivalent of four and a half maratons.

‘To look at her, you wouldn’t think she has gone through all that she has, the way she dances and runs around the house,’ he said.

‘All you can say to the doctors and nurses is thank you, but it never feels enough.’

For more on Mr Hartley's fundraising visit his webpage