A MAN dedicated one of the country's most-gruelling challenges to Alder Hey Children's Hospital after doctors' round-the-clock care saved his granddaughter's life.

Receiving a phone call that no parent ever wants to hear, Gary Shorrock was informed that his four-year-old granddaughter Olivia was being blue-lighted to hospital on Christmas Eve after telling her mum Ella: "Mummy I can't breathe".

Feeling "physically sick", Gary said he could tell how serious the issue was once he arrived at Wigan Infirmary and around 10 doctors were surrounding the little girl.

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Leigh Journal: Gary with granddaughter OliviaGary with granddaughter Olivia (Image: Gary Shorrock)

Transferring Olivia to Alder Hey's Children's Hospital and placing her in an induced coma, the four-year-old was diagnosed with Strep A, Flu A, pneumonia, sepsis, as well as the collapse of her right lung.

Despite the turmoil that this put the family through, Olivia pulled through thanks to the constant care of hospital staff and she was able to return home seven days later.

Leigh Journal: Olivia survived after five days in an induced coma and round-the-clock careOlivia survived after five days in an induced coma and round-the-clock care (Image: Gary Shorrock)

Completing numerous races and fundraising challenges before, Gary set himself the challenge of running 'The Lap' around Windemere to show his immense gratitude to those who helped to save Olivia's life at Alder Hey.

His younger brother Dan also joined him on the challenge, which sees participants run 47 miles up and down the 8,500 feet of fells and trails in the Lake District. 

Leigh Journal: Gary and his brother Dan on 'The Lap'Gary and his brother Dan on 'The Lap' (Image: Gary Shorrock)

Gary, 54, who now lives in Troutbeck in the Lake District, said: "The speedy response from the paramedics, the staff at Wigan Hospital, and Alder Hey Children's Hospital saved Olivia's life.

"We will forever be thankful and indebted to them. I could never repay them for what they did and for what they do every day.

"Whenever I was struggling, I just thought of what Olivia went through, what the doctors and nurses did, and those words 'Mummy I can't breathe' - and that will help push me through anything."

Leigh Journal: Gary finished the race in just over 10 hoursGary finished the race in just over 10 hours (Image: Gary Shorrock)

After a gruelling training regime, Gary and Dan completed 'The Lap' on Saturday, May 13, in just over 10 hours. 

In an emotional ending, Olivia ran toward her hero as he approached the finish line shouting "Carry me Granddad" - to which Gary duly obliged.

Grateful for the support he has received so far, Gary has raised almost £10,000 for the Children's Hospital. To congratulate Gary and Dan on their efforts, you can donate to their fundraiser here.

Leigh Journal: With the banner for Alder HeyWith the banner for Alder Hey (Image: Gary Shorrock)