A WIGAN dad struck down by meningitis weeks before the 2019 London Marathon is in training to run the event two years later.
Jon Leggott, 35, from Goose Green contracted the deadly infection just two weeks before he was due to run his seventh London Marathon for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
The dad-of-two had just returned from a visit to Disneyland Paris with his wife Kylie and two children Amelie and Jacob when he began to feel ill.
Feeling run down
He said: “We got back from Disneyland on the Saturday and I went running the next day and felt really sick but put it down to being a bit run-down and tired from going on holiday. I went back into work and still didn’t feel well but it was a bit like vertigo, which I’ve had before, so I put it down to that.
“By Wednesday I felt too ill to go into work and on Thursday I was worse. That night my wife woke me up in the night because I was breathing strangely and I felt really ill.
“I ended up going into hospital where they did tests, a CT scan and a lumbar puncture. They told me I’d have to stay in overnight and Kylie went home to get me an overnight bag.
“The next thing they told me to ring my wife and get her back to the hospital and to get my mum to come down. They informed me I had an infection in my brain and thought it was bacterial meningitis and I was in serious trouble.”
After Jon, a Director for WN1 Lighting Solutions based at Wigan Investment Centre, called his wife and mum to the hospital staff told him he was at high risk.
He said: “I called my mum and she just ran out of the house. My dad didn’t know where she’d gone – it was that serious. They told me the next 24 hours were critical and that if I’d stayed at home a few more days it would have been a different story. I ended up in hospital for nearly a week – it was really scary.”
Jon went home six days later. Although professionals wanted him to stay in hospital he was determined to get home to his family and was supported by the hospital at home service for three weeks. Over the course of just five days he had lost two and a half stones.
Jon and his dad Steven have always supported the Hindley-based hospice since Jon’s grandma Gwen Leggott received care from the charity 32 years ago.
Over the years Jon and Steven ran the London Marathon three times together for the hospice and Jon has completed it a further four times with friends. Amelie completed the Wigan Family Mile in 2019.
Between them Jon estimates he and his dad have raised upwards of £12,000 for the hospice which cares for people from Wigan Borough with life-limiting illnesses.
This London Marathon taking place on Sunday, October 3rd this year will be his last and Jon has just started his training with the help of his Personal Trainer, Nick Hill from Gymfreak Fitness.
He said: “It feels a bit like unfinished business so I want to finally do the London Marathon I trained for two years ago. With COVID-19 and losing my auntie Alison Evans on Boxing Day I also wanted to do something positive.”
To sponsor Jon visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jon-leggott2
Photo: Jon with Amelie and Jacob holding his medals from previous marathons