A woman from Bisley has raised more than £13,000 for a respite charity by running the London Marathon after her young son developed a mysterious condition that has severely affected his health.

Elin Roberts said she noticed something wasn’t right with her youngest son, Oliver, when he was eight weeks old.

“I started to notice that he wasn’t meeting any milestones,” Elin said.

“He developed aspiration pneumonia and other infections and was admitted to The Royal Surrey County Hospital.

“We were told Oliver had a rare genetic neuromuscular condition but, almost two and a half years on, we still don't have a formal diagnosis.

“Oliver has hypotonia (muscle weakness), his stomach doesn't empty and he can’t swallow anything so is fed via a tube. He picks up a lot of chest infections and suffers with constipation.”

Elin Roberts and her son Oliver
Elin can spend days at a time in hospital with her son Oliver, who has multiple health problems (Momentum Children's Charity)

Frequent and lengthy hospital visits have put a huge strain on Elin but she has received help from Momentum Children's Charity which supports families across Surrey, London and Sussex with seriously ill children.

“I am on my own, so I don’t have anyone who can take over or help me with looking after Oliver when I’m at the hospital,” Elin said.

“We are there for days at a time and are often in our own room as we can't risk Oliver picking up any other infections. It can feel very isolating.

“It is reassuring to know a family support worker from Momentum is there to sit with Oliver while I grab a sandwich or have five minutes to get some air.

“Having a friendly, familiar person to talk to from Momentum has really helped my wellbeing and has broken up some of the very long days.”

After Elin got a place in the marathon, she followed an intense 16-week training plan and covered hundreds of miles. She set a £10,500 fundraising target, but broke that before the race and has collected more than £13,100.

She said she was very nervous at the start of the race but was motivated by the help she was giving Momentum.

“I really enjoyed the run; the support from the crowds was unbelievable,” Elin said.

“Yes, it was hard in the latter stages; I lost a few toenails which had bled though my trainers at mile 20.

“However, stopping was not an option. The courage that Oliver has to demonstrate on a daily basis is non-comparable to the discomfort of running a marathon. I knew I had to dig deep and carry on for Oliver and all the children and families who are supported by Momentum.

“The finish was incredibly emotional. All the hours of hard work in training to the actual event itself was totally worth it and the thought that I had managed to raise vital funds for Momentum was the best feeling in the world.”

Bianca Effemey, founder and CEO of Momentum, said: “Wow – what a remarkable woman Elin is. The money will help us to continue to support local families of seriously ill children.”