'What would happen to the money for the poorly people?' - Five-year-old Axton steps up to safeguard charity money after dad has to pull out of Run Reigate because of life-threatening condition

'What would happen to the money for the poorly people?'

That was the question five-year-old Axton Powell asked mum and dad Darren and Jodie when he overheard them discussing Darren pulling out of the Run Reigate event last weekend.

Travel agent Darren was running the race to help race money for doctors, nurses and rehabilitation staff at East Surrey Hospital after they had saved his life.

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Last year, the 41-year-old, was rushed into hospital after a blockage in his pancreatic duct and he was taken into intensive care and had to undergo numerous life saving operations and blood transfusions.

Axton Powell with his medal and certificate for finishing Run Reigate

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Darren said: "The result of this meant that overnight my life had changed.

"I became insulin dependent and my pancreas had more or less died. I’ve spent a total of eight out of the last 12 months in an East Surrey hospital bed. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of the surgeons I wouldn’t be alive today."

And this is what inspired Darren to run the popular race for the SASH Charity (For East Surrey Hospital and Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust).

Darren Powell with son Axton on the podium

"This lead me to wanting to give something back, a debt repayment if you like to all the amazing doctors, nurses and rehabilitation staff," he said: "I decided earlier in the year I’d repay that debt and fundraise for the hospitals SASH charity by completing the 10k at run Reigate. "

Darren's training was going well until July before he 'called upon the doctors to save my life once again'.

He said: "Due to complications of my condition I had developed a pancreatic cyst and a huge blood clot in my stomach.

"This put a hold to everything and I couldn’t compete in the race. I’d already raised a substantial amount for the charity and this was now in jeopardy."

Axton with mum Jodie

But Darren had no need to worry, because his five-year-old son Axton was on hand to be a hero.

Darren said: "Axton had overheard the conversation I had with my wife Jodie, and asked me 'what would happen to the money for the poorly people?'.

"I explained that sometimes in life things don’t work out the way you plan.

"On hearing this without hesitation in a selfless act of kindness offered to race for me.

"I thanked him and explained that he couldn’t race that far as he is only five years old. I got in touch with the charity and race organiser and told them of the story to which they agreed that Axton could indeed race for me and agreed to transfer my place to him and he could race the final 2km and collect my finisher's medal and most importantly safeguard the charity money already raised."

The race was last Sunday and Darren was discharged from the hospital just in time to be able to watch Axton cross the finish line.

He raised a total of over £400 for SASH charity.

Darren said: "I am very proud! We were all just glad the hospital charity got to keep the money we raised."