Thinking of Oscar

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The Blenheim Palace Triathlon 2015

June 13, 2015
Woodstock, United Kingdom

The 2015 Blenheim Palace Triathlon served as our main fundraising event for 2015. We had a 50 man and woman squad competing at this year’s event.  Hannah spent many hours pushing Oscar and Holly around the lake in their pram during her maternity leave, so it seemed the obvious choice of venue to choose for our first major event.

After months of training, preparation, organsiation, injuries and last minute replacements – Saturday June 13th 2015 came and with it the heavens opened, however the Yellow and Blue of Thinking of Oscar really did shine through.

All 50 participants, for the most of whom this was their first Triathlon, braved the conditions to line up for the 750m swim in the murky Blenheim lake, followed by a 20km bike ride on treacherous road, and then a 5.7km run to finish off with.  We are delighted to say that everyone who started – finished, with everybody having a great time doing so.  We had simply amazing support on the day with what must have been at least a couple of hundred + supporters and certainly the most of any other team competing.  Thank you so much to everyone that came out to support us, you really did make a difference.

Collectively the team has raised, to date (June 19th 2015) over £51,000 towards the target that we have of £100,000.  This does not include Gift Aid so will hopefully climb above the £60,000 mark in due course.  We are again so very grateful to everyone that took part and raised money for Thinking of Oscar.  We are equally grateful to everyone that donated so generously towards the cause.  We could not have imagined such an amazing start to the charity and as you can read below, this amazing total takes us well on the way to making a new Paediatric Procedures Unit within the Oxford Children’s hospital a reality.

You can still sponsor the team by following this link to David’s Just Giving page: or if you know someone else that competed as part of the team then you will be able to find their individual page using this link:

Below are a few photos from the day.  More will follow in due course.  You can also read more about why we are raising money for a Paediatric Procedures Unit within the Oxford Children’s hospital and what a difference it is going to make below:

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Our aim is to have the greatest impact that we can have in Oscar’s memory as we begin our journey with the charity and as such we have spent the past few months meeting with many different people within the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to agree what this could look like.  On Wednesday May 6th we met with the General Manager of the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. Following our meeting we have agreed that, through the monies raised we will fund a new Paediatric Procedures Unit within the Children’s hospital which will then also bear Oscar’s name. Making this a reality will mean a huge amount to us personally but it will also be an amazing beginning to Thinking of Oscar. Of course none of this comes cheap and our ambitious target of raising £100,000 has now become a reality as it is the amount that is required to make it happen.

Oscar’s consultant has written the following to illustrate what a unit of this kind could mean to the hospital and more importantly the children who use the facility. To be clear – hundreds and hundreds of children every year will benefit from this investment.

Sometimes investigations, procedures or treatments are painful, unpleasant or need the patient to stay still for a long period of time. One such procedure which Oscar had during his hospital stay was the insertion of a PICC line: a special plastic tube placed into a big vein in his arm so that he could receive a prolonged course of antibiotics. Placing the tube can be fiddly and take quite a long time, and needs the child to be very patient and still, so at 16 months Oscar had an anaesthetic for this to be done safely and painlessly. It is quite common for young children to need anaesthetics or heavy sedation for procedures like this.


The range of procedures or tests include:

  • Placing of venous lines such as PICC lines or ‘long lines’ for antibiotics or fluids;
  • Diagnostic tests looking into the airways, lungs, stomach or bowels – known as laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, gastroscopy, colonoscopy;
  • Aspiration of excess fluid from swollen painful joints to look for evidence of infection;
  • Injection of steroids into joints of children who have arthritis to help reduce the inflammation;
  • Placement of small plastic ‘drains’ to remove fluid from around the lungs of children with complications of chest infections;
  • Biopsy of small superficial lumps and bumps for diagnostic purposes;
  • Placement of urinary catheters to enable tests to be done on the bladder and kidneys.

Benefits of the Children’s Procedures Unit –

None of these procedures are technically an operation, but at present they normally take place in an operating theatre as that is the place which has the anaesthetists, anaesthetic machines and monitoring equipment. This means that the child has to leave his or her bed or the waiting area in the Children’s Hospital and go along several corridors into an environment which is not specifically designed for children, just at the point when they need to be calm and happy. They then have to come back through all those corridors when they are only just awake afterwards, which can be quite scary. It also means that the children’s service are sharing facilities with lots of other services, so sometimes there are delays if something urgent happens. This sometimes means that children are kept without food and drink for the anaesthetic for quite a long time, which is stressful for both the child and the parents.

What children’s staff at the John Radcliffe would like is to have their own ‘Procedures Room’ within the Children’s Hospital. This would have all the appropriate equipment to do the various procedures, and a quiet area for recovering after the anaesthetic. The room would be decorated in a child friendly fashion. If the equipment is in the right place, staff could come to the child rather than the child going to the staff. The trip from the waiting room or the child’s bed would be a short one, through a child friendly environment. The whole experience would be nicer for the child and family: and would also improve efficiency, reduce delays, remove uncertainty as to when procedures might happen and avoid or shorten some inpatient stays.”






June 13, 2015


Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace
Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX201PP United Kingdom
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