Run against all the odds

Nathan Howarth - who has water on the brain - and was the Express' champion child in 2009 - has gone against the odds and managed to complete the Upton fun run.
Nathan Howarth - who has water on the brain - and was the Express' champion child in 2009 - has gone against the odds and managed to complete the Upton fun run.

A DETERMINED teen who battles a series of health problems which prevent him from playing sport has been called a ‘superstar’ after completing Upton’s four-mile fun run.

Nathan Howarth, 13, of Park Estate, South Kirkby, was born three months prematurely, had chronic lung disease and hydrocephalus – a build-up of water on the brain – but managed to run the distance in just 35 minutes.

The Minsthorpe Community College pupil said: “It went ok and was glad I took part. I really enjoyed it.”

His proud grandparents, Christopher and Joan Howarth, aunt Theresa Howarth and his eight-year-old sister Amelia were all there to cheer him to victory.

Mr Howarth, 60, of Church Avenue, South Kirkby, said: “This is the first run he has ever taken part in and I was over the moon to see him run across that finish line. We were elated. He is a superstar.”

At last year’s event he watched his older brother from the sidelines and vowed he would do whatever it took to take part this year.

Mr Howarth said: “He was so pleased with what he achieved he didn’t take his medal off until that evening. Everyone is made up for him.”

He was nominated by his proud grandparents for the Express’ Champion Children awards in 2009 for the struggles he faced growing up.

He weighed just 1 lb 15 oz when he was born, and his twin sister sadly died several months later.

As he got older it was discovered he had an enlarged spleen and he underwent regular hospital tests and biopsies to find the cause and to administer treatment.

The football-mad Arsenal fan was told by doctors a year ago he could not play football, or any contact sport in case he took a blow to the head.

Nathan’s health difficulties have also affected his development, and at 4 ft 3 inches tall, he hopes to have growth hormone treatment in the future.