A GP who has described himself as the “opposite of a runner” has challenged to complete the London Marathon in memory of his mother.
Dr Arif Zafar, from Solihull, will be taking to the streets of London on April 23 three-and-a-half years after his mother, Shahnaz, died in a road accident.
The 66-year-old was crushed by a lorry at a pedestrian crossing in November 2013 and she tragically died of her injuries while in the Critical Care Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham’s (QEHB) days later.
Dr Zafar said: “It was the worst time for our family and my mum is greatly missed by my dad, all her kids and grandkids.
“She was the archetypal mum – always fussing and cooking for anyone and everyone who came home.”
The GP at a Surgery in Small Heath originally set out to raise £2,000 for the QEHB Charity however thanks to the generosity of family, friends, patients and well-wishers Dr Zafar has smashed his target and is now hoping to raise £3,000.
The 42-year-old said: “The kindness and compassion showed by the critical care unit at the queen Elizabeth hospital was incredible during those terrible days.
“Our family were treated with such love by the staff – I made a vow to give something back.
“I applied for the London marathon with the intention of raising money for this incredible unit in memory of my mum.
“I know I can’t repay the QEHB staff for their overwhelming compassion but I vowed to give something back.
“It is quite an undertaking as a novice runner but I’m following my training programme and this is something I can do.”
The father of three has been training around Brueton Park and although it got off to a rocky start as he tore a calf muscle but he is now on the mend.
He added: “My mum is survived by her loving family – her immense love shines through in us all.
“She would think I’m crazy to run such a distance but I’m sure she’d be proud of me.”
Laura Power, Senior Fundraiser at QEHB Charity, said: “We are delighted that Arif has decided to run the London Marathon for QEHB Charity, and we look forward to welcoming him on the day.
“The money kindly donated by Arif will go towards funding extra equipment, facilities, research and ‘added extras’ for patients in Critical Care, over and above what the NHS is able to fund.
“We’d like to wish Arif the best of luck and thank him for his generosity.”
For more abour Dr Zafar’s marathon run or to donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Arif-Zafar2
For more on QEHB Charity go to www.qehb.org or call 0121 371 4852.