Santa Dash friends raise cash for Wiltshire Air Ambulance charity

A group of children dressed as Santa Claus pose for a photo at a Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia event.
A group of children dressed as Santa Claus pose for a photo at a Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia event.

November 22, 2022


FOUR friends have helped a Trowbridge schoolboy raise more than £1,300 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance by joining more than 150 people in a Rudolph and Santa Dash on Sunday.

Oliver Brooking and four of his friends raised the cash in sponsorship as a thank you to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance charity for saving his life when he collapsed at home back in April.

Oliver, aged 11, from Castle Mead, Trowbridge, suffers from the rare and incurable condition Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenenia which causes severe nose bleeds.

He was conveyed to the hospital by Wiltshire Air Ambulance on Sunday, April 24, after collapsing unconscious in the bathroom after having suffered a massive and undetected blood loss.

His mum, Leanne Brooking, 45, said: “Oliver had been suffering the nose bleeds for quite a while.

“But it was going down the back of his nose into his throat, and we didn’t notice how much blood he had lost.

“He went to the bathroom and collapsed and was unconscious, so we called 999 for the ambulance service.

“When the paramedics arrived, they called for the air ambulance, and he was airlifted to the Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

Oliver, a pupil at the Clarendon Academy, spent two weeks in hospital and had a portacath fitted to his chest to enable the nurses to give him medication for his rare condition.

He now attends weekly appointments at the hospital to receive treatment for his inherited blood clotting disorder, characterized by the impaired function of specialized cells called platelets that are essential for proper blood clotting.

Mrs. Brooking added: “Oliver has been through a very tricky and difficult year, but we are proud of him for coming out the other side.

“We’d like to thank his friends for completing the fun run and helping him to raise £1,300 for the air ambulance.”

Trowbridge mayor Cllr Graham Hill started the family-friendly fun run on Sunday around a two-kilometer course in Trowbridge Town Park.

The sponsored event raised funds for the mayor’s two charities, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the Trowbridge Storehouse foodbank.

Runners donned Santa fancy dress costumes and were asked to complete Cheeky Christmas Challenges throughout the park on the way around.

Organizer Hayley Bell said: “It was wonderful to see so many of the Trowbridge community coming out in fancy dress to raise money for charity.”

Dale Pullinger, with his family, won the prize for the best-dressed family in fancy dress.