Boston man’s 40 runs in memory of sister

Shea with his four children.
Shea with his four children.

A Boston man has set himself the challenge of completing 40 runs in just over a year to mark what would have been the 40th birthday of the sister he lost as a child to sepsis.

Shea Holland, 33, of Tower Road, has already tackled two running events in remembrance of Stacey Holland who died in 1989 when she was 11, he was four, and his older brother Liam was eight.

Stacey Holland, who would have been 40 next year.

Stacey Holland, who would have been 40 next year.

Stacey had gone into hospital to be treated for appendicitis and while the surgery went well, she would later die of sepsis (or blood poisoning).

In May, Stacey would have turned 40.

Despite only being four when she died, Shea has many memories of her.

“She always stood by me and spoke up for me and looked after me,” he said.

Shea and his daughter Kimi.

Shea and his daughter Kimi.

All funds raised by Shea’s efforts will go to the UK Sepsis Trust, which works to save lives and improve outcomes for survivors of sepsis.

“It can be easy to treat if caught early,” Shea said. “The charity urgently needs funding to train the public and the health care community on how to spot sepsis more quickly.

“I was a child when this awful event happened but the trauma and the effect it had on my life was extremely difficult.”

Shea has so far completed a 5k park run in Boston ‘as a warm-up’ and the 3.5k Lincoln Santa Fun Run and Walk, which fell one day after the latest anniversary of Stacey’s death.

Between now and the next anniversary, Shea plans to complete 38 more, including more park runs and 5ks, plus some 10ks and half-marathons, with all his children running with him at some point.

He is also planning a bungee jump fundraiser and hoping to complete a charity sky drive and man a stall in the town’s Pescod Square to raise awareness of sepsis.

* Support Shea’s fundraising at

Sepsis is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.

If not spotted and treated quickly, it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death.

The UK Sepsis Trust says a child might have sepsis (and to call 999) if they: are breathing very fast; have had a ‘fit’ or convulsion; look mottled, bluish, or pale; have a rash that does not fade when pressed; are very lethargic or difficult to wake; or feeling abnormally cold to touch.

For children under five, it says, they might have sepsis if they: are not feeding, are vomiting repeatedly, or have not urinated or had a wet nappy for 12 hours. Here, the advice is to call 111 or see a GP

For adults, it uses the acronym:

* Slurred speech or confusion

* Extreme shivering or muscle pain

* Passing no urine (in a day)

* Severe breathlessness

* It feels like you’re going to die

* Skin mottled or discoloured

Here, the advice is to seek help urgently.