The 16-year-old daughter of a former Surrey and Ireland wicketkeeper Andrew Patterson is taking on a marathon challenge to raise funds for a potentially life-changing operation for her father.
Ella Patterson is running two half-marathons in a bid to raise £70,000 for Andrew to travel to America for a highly specialist surgery that will aim to halt the degenerative disease Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP).
HSP has severely impacted the life of Andrew and he has gone from finding it difficult to walk to being almost totally reliant on walking aids. Doctors expect that, without intervention, he will lose the ability to walk and will have to use a wheelchair permanently.
The surgery, which Andrew and his family have only recently become aware of, needs to happen urgently and whilst they have secured a date in May, this is contingent on them being able to raise the required funds.
A wicketkeeper by trade Patterson – from Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland – made 61 appearances for Ireland between 1996 and 2002. With older brother Mark on the Surrey staff, Andrew joined him in the county’s second team for 23 games in 1997-98, the pair playing for Banstead in the Surrey Championship.
Although there were no openings for him at The Oval, he attracted interest from Sussex, playing 10 first-class games in 2000. There was a spell with Bedfordshire before he began a teaching career with Kings’s College School in Wimbledon and then later heading on to Caterham School.
But in 2013 Patterson began to have problems with his balance and received the stunning diagnosis that he was suffering from Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. This has significantly impacted his life and that of his family.
If you would like to support Ella’s fundraising efforts and help to fund Andrew’s surgery you can visit the fundraising page here.