‘My angel Amelia was smiling down on me’

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That’s how a brave Portrush mother described her London Marathon attempt.

Michelle Christie decided to take on the challenge in memory of her 18-month-old daughter, Amelia who passed away last year.

During her short life little Amelia battled with cerebral palsy, had a neuropathic bladder, was mildly deaf in her left ear and could not interpret what she saw. She had to be tube fed and required oxygen 24/7.

The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice was a charity that Amelia’s loving parents - Michelle and Chris - thought they would never need.

But the Hospice provided them with special memories of their little fighter and following little Amelia’s death, the couple just wanted to give something back to the charity which had supported them through many tough times.

So, Michelle and her sister Donna set themselves a challenge: the London Marathon.

Last week Michelle told The Times that she believed her little angel was smiling down on her as battled her way through the crowds to complete her gruelling 26.2 mile challenge.

“I was delighted just to get to the finish line,” said a proud Michelle. “I finished in five hours, my sister Donna completed it in four hours 17 minutes.

“I had to stop at the seven mile point to get my feet strapped up because of blisters, but apart from that we are both fine.”

An emotional Michelle explained that at around 21 miles she ‘hit the wall’ but that thoughts of her little daughter enabled her to find the energy to complete the final five miles.

“My body had just gone into shock. It’s a strange thing, you begin to hallucinate.

“But I just thought about why I was doing the marathon, my thoughts turned to Amelia and I found the strength to keep going.

“Nobody else sees you hitting the wall. I didn’t speak to anyone except myself during the run, You just seem to run through it and remind yourself over and over why you’re putting yourself through the pain. My pain was temporary. Amelia suffered everyday.

“Running a marathon has a lot to do with mental strength, and I think both myself and Donna showed that we have plenty of that.”

To date Michelle, her friends and family have managed to raise a remarkable £26,000 for the NI Children’s Hospice. Anyone can still donate by logging on to Michelle’s justgiving page.