Each month the Knowsley Harriers Athletics Club dedicates their 5km Halewood run to The Walton Centre Charity, asking runners to donate before taking part. Six months in and the club has raised over £1,000 – halfway to their target of £2,000.

Committee member John McCaffrey said: “Each year we nominate a local charity close to our hearts to support and when we were discussing this year’s we chose The Walton Centre Charity. Our Treasurer Karen sustained a serious head injury last year and was cared for brilliantly by The Walton Centre, so it was an easy decision to nominate them as our charity for 2022.”

Karen Parry, from Prescot, was making her way up to bed after a work night out when she fell down the stairs, hitting her head badly on the hall floor. Karen was rushed to the Aintree Trauma Unit. From there she was transferred to The Walton Centre for life-saving brain surgery.

Husband Gavin was there when she fell, “It was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. Karen was badly hurt, but I didn’t realise how badly until I was at The Walton Centre speaking to the anaesthetist about the emergency surgery she was going to have. Mr. Zakaria and his surgical team saved Karen’s life, but they also took the time to calmly and compassionately explain Karen’s condition to me along with the steps they would be taking.”

Gavin added, “The club has a number of links to the hospital, from other members who have previously been looked after there. We were delighted when they picked The Walton Centre Charity. This was a very frightening time for my son and myself and very much a rollercoaster ride of emotions explained to us when Karen entered the unit. Sadly, Karen remembers very little of her time in The Walton centre but I have reminded her of the wonderful care which she has received. The nurses, doctors and therapy staff are truly inspirational, not only for their professionalism and incredible skills as medical practitioners but they also have the kind of qualities that cannot be taught in a classroom – care, love, kindness, understanding and humanity – they have them in abundance.”

Karen said: "Sadly, I remember little about my time in The Walton Centre due to the nature of my head injury. Gav has spoken to me at length about the wonderful people that cared for me there. I would just like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”

Find out more about the Knowsley Harrier’s fundraiser 5km here:

And you can donate to the appeal directly here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/khac2022