A mum who almost died when she was struck by a potentially fatal blood clot while pregnant will be leading the way on a festive fun run in Sheffield.
Josephine Pickworth, aged 37, is starting the annual Chase the Pud race, in which scores of charity fundraisers don Santa outfits and chase a volunteer dressed as a Christmas pudding for a mile around the city centre.
The event takes place on Sunday, December 7 in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Josephine - who now works as a cardiac research scientist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital - fell seriously ill when she was 37 weeks pregnant.
She was put into induced labour and gave birth to daughter Louise, now aged eight.
Josephine then underwent tests and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and a dangerous blood clot in her pulmonary artery.
She was offered the research position following the birth of her second child, son Samuel, aged four.
“I jumped at this opportunity as, from the patient’s perspective, I’m so aware of how important research is,” said Josephine, who lives with her family in Holymoorside, North Derbyshire.
Last month the British Heart Foundation announced plans to invest £500,000 in a new MRI scanner at Sheffield University.
The technology will create highly detailed images of the heart, lungs and blood vessels, and can help in diagnosing conditions such as pulmonary hypertension.
Josephine’s research team is led by Dr Allan Lawrie, who will also join her in starting the fun run, which sets off from Tudor Square at 11am.
Organiser Jo Strong said she thought the event was the ‘perfect way’ for people to kick off their festivities.
“A Santa costume is provided for all adults who take part, and children under 14 are encouraged to come in any fancy dress they like,” she said.
“It’s an excellent way for friends, families and colleagues to get together, share some Christmas spirit and help raise money for the BHF’s vital work. We are calling on the local community to support our local research investment by registering now to take part.”
Entry costs £10. Call 0300 330 3322 or visit www.bhf.org.uk/chasethepud to register.