Belfast Telegraph

Ben Murdock to run London marathon in tribute to his late mother

By Adrian Rutherford

A Northern Ireland man whose mother died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage is to run the London Marathon in her memory.

Jane Pendlebury fell ill last March - three days after spending a "perfect" Mother's Day with her son Ben Murdock.

She collapsed and was rushed to hospital, but died two weeks later.

A year on from her death, Ben will be running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the charity that supported him while his mum was in hospital.

Jane (53) had worked at the Lisburn Health Centre for 13 years and was well known across Hillsborough and Dromore.

On March 29 last year, she was putting the bins out when she suddenly collapsed, and was found by her neighbour.

Ben spent several long hours waiting in A&E at the Royal Victoria Hospital, but nurses and doctors could offer no explanation for his mother's illness.

"Eventually a doctor came and told me my mum was very poorly and was going to the Intensive Care Unit," he added.

"He said that meant she was one of the sickest people in the hospital. I just couldn't get my head around it."

At around 2am a doctor broke the devastating news to Ben and his family that his mum had sustained a bleed on the brain that she would not recover from. If she did pull through, her life would never be the same.

"I couldn't comprehend it," Ben added. "I remember sitting on the side of her bed thinking, 'What is going on?' She texted me this morning and now she's fighting for her life."

Desperate to find out more, Ben researched brain haemorrhages and found Headway's website.

"I called Headway's helpline and it made such a difference," he said. "The good and the bad, they took the time to explain it to me so I could understand."

Over the next few days, Jane started to make small signs of progress. Ben vowed to quit his job and spend as long as necessary caring for his mother.

But her condition deteriorated and she died on April 15.

Ben recalled how, three days before his mum took ill, they had spent a "perfect" Mother's Day together.

After buying her flowers and gifts, he took her for a meal at her favourite Indian restaurant.

"She had such a bubbly personality and was so funny," he recalled. "She was the type of person who would often go out of her way to help other people.

Ben hopes that by running the London Marathon, he'll be able to help other people during such a difficult time.

To donate visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for 'Ben Murdock'

Belfast Telegraph

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