A FAMILY were so touched by the care their sick children received that they started raising money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

The Children’s Hospital’s Starlight Unit was practically second home to Sammy and Matt Gowrie when their son Harry suffered a number of life-threatening conditions. Together he and his sister Nancy have had five serious stays in hospital.

“It’s got to the point where a few staff know us well and I can certainly recognise their faces,” said Matt, who works as a milkman.

“The staff have been totally amazing and we wouldn’t have our little family today without all the care and support they gave us.”

The family’s first experience of the Starlight Unit was when Harry developed whooping cough at five weeks old in October 2012.

He was back several times over the next five years, with his conditions including gastroenteritis and sepsis.

Harry’s younger sister Nancy has also had her fair share of hospital stays, from illnesses such as a bad viral infection when she was born and bronchiolitis.

Their experiences inspired the family to fundraise for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

In May, Matt took part in the Manchester Marathon and raised more than £500 for the Starlight Unit, finishing with a time of three hours, 48 minutes.

Sarah Naismith, director of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Matt’s amazing marathon achievement is truly astounding.

She added: “We are so proud of all the people who ran Manchester Marathon for our charity.”

Visit rmchcharity.org.uk/events to see future fundraising events, how you can get involved and to find out more about the charity.