RAF medic runs to raise money as a tribute to his baby son

By Anita Jaynes on 1 February, 2016

RAF Flight Sgt David Leatham, who has raised over £200,000 for charity, is planning his final long distance run in memory of his son Andrew who died from cot death.

David Leatham (49), who lives with his family in Tilshead, near Devizes, has already won a Promise and Fulfillment Award from RAF Odiham for his services to charity. He’s been a medic in the RAF, serving in places such as Bosnia and Afghanistan, also a number of UK and overseas postings including Germany and Cyprus, for the last 33 years.

His next – and final long distance challenge – will be a 65 mile run round the Isle of Wight in just 16 hours in April.

The money he raises will go to the Lullaby Trust which supports families who have lost babies and toddlers to SIDS or SUDC (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood).

David has been raising money for the Lullaby Trust for many years as he and his first wife lost one of their four sons Andrew to cot death.

“This is my drive and incentive to make sure other families don’t have to go through the same thing,” said David.

Today he lives with his wife Barbara, a professional photographer, and they have two more children together nine-year-old James and Robyn aged eight. Barbara also has a grown up son Ryan. The couple met while both in the RAF, where Barbara was a photographer.

“All our family is sporty,” says David, “that’s helped me keep fit for all the charity events I’ve done. I have played rugby with some of my sons and with two of them I completed their first half marathons with them and with my stepson his first step up to the full marathon. Barbara is a great support and is often at these events taking photographs!”

The Isle of Wight Challenge takes place on 30 April. David attempted this grueling challenge two years ago but had to pull out at 50 miles as he hit the wall.

“I felt like I’d let Andrew down by not finishing and I don’t like to be beaten. This course will also mark my retirement from long distance running as I will be 50 this year and leaving the RAF. “I will definitely continue to raise money for charity but after this one I will be looking to run shorter distances and be more team orientated.”

To sponsor David and support the Lullaby Trust visit – https://www.justgiving.com/David-Leatham3.

Pictured above: David Leatham at the start of the 2014 Isle of Wight Challenge, running for the charlity, The Lullaby Trust, who help families who have suffered the loss of a child through cotdeath