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Shropshire surgeon’s son takes on triathlon challenge to raise funds for Covid-19 vaccine group

By Lisa O'Brien | Oswestry | Coronavirus | Published:

The son of an orthopaedic surgeon, who works at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital, is pledging his support in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic by raising funds for a clinic running vaccine trials.

Jack and Ben Burston

Jack Burston – son of Ben Burston, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) near Oswestry – has pledged to swim, cycle and run 15km a day for 20 days – a total of 300km – to help raise funds for urgent Covid-19 research being carried out by the team at Oxford University responsible for the development of a vaccine.

The 13-year-old, who is a member of Ellesmere College Titans Swimming Club, normally swims every day but that has been halted during the lockdown.

Missing his regular swimming sessions and keen to help the NHS’s fight against the virus in some way, Jack decided he wanted to undertake a mini triathlon of swimming, cycling and running, while raising crucial funds.

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He said: “I know everyone has been affected by this pandemic in some way and I am keen to support those trying to find a cure.

“The risk is very real to me and my family, as my father is a surgeon on the front line, and every single day he goes to work, I think about his safety and I can only hope he stays protected and safe from the virus.

“My pledge will be a personal challenge but I am determined to complete it and I know my family will be cheering and supporting me every step of the way.

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“The research team at Oxford promise that all project funding will have an immediate and high impact on the global Covid-19 crisis.

"Public donations of any size will be rapidly put to use in front line research and this is my motivation to complete this challenge.”

Praising his son’s thoughtfulness and efforts, Mr Burston said: “As a family we are so proud of Jack for what he’s doing.

"His determination is absolutely phenomenal and it’s all to help fight the virus in the best way he knows how.

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“He started the challenge this week with a daily routine of swimming, running and cycling and he’s feeling good so far and very much on track.

“Thankfully, one of our neighbours has kindly donated the exclusive use of their pool for this challenge, so Jack is able to adhere to social distancing.

“If anyone is in the position to donate, I know he would really appreciate the support.”

You can show your support to Jack by donating via his JustGiving page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=JackBurston&pageUrl=2

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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