WHILE the weather has seen many of us huddled up indoors this month, one inspirational boy was out every day fundraising for the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Spencer English has run at least one mile every day so far in December, raising money for the hospital's cardiology ward.

He has been taking on the challenge in thanks to staff at the ward who cared for Spencer's father, Damian, while he battled a serious infection in his heart.

Now his dad is improving, this fundraising effort is Spencer's way of "thanking them that I still have my dad."

The 12-year-old, from Newport, originally set a target of £100 but has already raised more than £1,600 from 100 donations.

On his JustGiving page, Spencer explained how staff on the cardiology ward cared for his dad.

He said: "During the last nine months, my dad became very ill.

"For the first few weeks he was told it could possibly be Covid-19 and was unable to be seen due to having coronavirus symptoms.

"This continued for several weeks until he was able to get a test which was negative so he was able to then see a doctor."


After seeing a doctor, Mr English was sent to hospital for tests, and a week later was readmitted to hospital.

"They did another test and found that he had a serious infection in his heart," Spencer said.

"He had to have antibiotics and other medicines through a drip every four hours and was unable to come home as he was too poorly."

Two valves in his heart stopped working properly as the infection had spread, and Mr English had to undergo open heart surgery to replace one valve and repair the other.

Spencer added: "It was a really hard time for us as we couldn't go to see him due to the hospitals trying to keep everyone safe.

"We went to the hospital every day and stood outside so we could see him at the window.

"For eight weeks the nurses and assistants in the cardiology ward were really kind to my dad.

"They put up pictures of us on his wall and gave him quizzes to do.

"They looked after my dad when he was feeling really sad about not seeing us and helping him understand what he was going through.

"So this is why I would like to raise money for the cardiology ward to say thank you for looking after my dad so well.

"My dad is improving everyday and it's my way of thanking them that I still have my dad."