A ROMSEY child will take on a major challenge to help ill children and thank the doctors who saved his life.

In December 2016 Billy Turner, who was seven years old at the time, was diagnosed with a serious skin disorder called Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

He was at home when his lips suddenly swelled and he could not talk; he was rushed to hospital.

His mother Natalie Turner, 39, a wedding planner, from Romsey, said: “It was horrendous. No-one knew what it was. They put him to sleep because they didn’t know what was wrong with him. They discovered he had this syndrome and said that his body either reacted to the antibiotic or to an infection.”

Billy spent there weeks in the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital, where he underwent an operation to ensure the syndrome would not affect his eyes.

“It was absolutely the worst three weeks of my life. Our lives just stopped. The first thing he said was ‘I can see’ and that was a relief,” Mrs Turner added.

Now Billy, a Cupernham Junior School pupil, has decided to run the 2.5k event of the Great South Run on October 20 to raise money for Friends of PICU at Southampton General Hospital.

“He was in bed one night and said ‘mummy I would like to do a run for charity’ and I asked him who he would like to raise the money for and he said the children at PICU,” Mrs Turner said.

He has been training every day and has his pirate costume ready for the event.

“He is so grateful to be here full of life and happiness and he wanted to do something to help other children. I feel very proud of him,” Mrs Turner added.

The Friends of PICU raises money to support the paediatric intensive care unit in Southampton, the children and their families by providing equipment and services that are not always provi- ded by the statutory authorities.

Those who would like to support Billy should call 01794 521258.