Dad’s ‘proudest moment’ honours son with cerebral palsy

Simon Minnican with son Ollie at the London Marathon finish line
Simon Minnican with son Ollie at the London Marathon finish line

The father of a toddler disgnosed with cerebral palsy said completing his first marathon in aid of Scope was the ‘proudest moment’ of his life.

Simon Minnican was struggling at the 18-mile stage of the London Marathon when he saw his wife Tammie and young son Oliver in the crowd.

This poignant reminder why he was running the 26.2-mile course helped to spur the 45-year-old to keep running through the pain of blisters to the very end.

“After a quick kiss, hug and words of encouragement I felt able to continue to the finish line,” said Simon, who has raised more than £1,200 for Scope – the charity which has helped his son.

The family were struck with the news Oliver has cerebral palsy after recovering from a battle for life when he was born. The baby had suffered with meconium aspiration - a condition during labour where newborns inhale a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid.

“When his oxygen levels fell to just 40 per cent the decision was made to transfer him to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham,” said Simon.

“I followed Ollie and when I arrived in the unit I broke down in tears and was inconsolable. I literally could not stop crying. I was sure our precious little man was going to die that day.”

Tammie persuaded her consultant to discharge her the next day and the couple spent the next few days in the unit. On day five Ollie was able to breathe on his own. On 13 he was home - but the youngster had suffered brain damage, and at five months-old was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“Our aspirations for Ollie were shattered and we had no idea where to turn for a few more months,” said Simon. “Finally, when he was 10-months-old we turned to Scope.”

The family were visited at home by Scope and given vital information and advice.

“We had been empowered with knowledge, said Simon. “This was the day we realised Ollie would achieve everything we had wished for him.”

The plucky father chose to run the marathon in aid of Scope to ‘give something back’.

He added: “The whole atmosphere was something to remember. Collecting my medal was one of the proudest moments of my life.”

The family currently live in Swineshead after their Robin Hoods Walk home was devastated by the December 5 flood.

To donate to Simon’s cause visit