Ewan Laws was born 3 months prematurely, and after 3 very difficult months in hospital it was discovered Ewan had 'a significant brain injury' and as a result he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When Ben and Sam Finally got Ewan home after 3 different hospital stays, Ewan fought off infections but the problems continued. Ewan was suffering from severe apnoea's and stopped breathing in his cot which meant another trip to St Thomas's Hospital in London where he was put on a life support machine.
Then they received the worse possible news, Ewan was not expected to survive.
They were faced with making a decision no parent should ever have to, turn the ventilator off.
When the time came the neurologists made the decision to conduct one last MRI and CT scan and that showed that as Ewan had the potential for cognitive ability ethically the machine support could not be turned off. Ewan eventually woke up and the little chap carried on making progress. With the final diagnosis they were advisedto consider having Ewan adopted, but they made the decision to bring their little boy home and despite the incredibly difficult challenges they now faced as a family - they decided to face them together.
2010 was a great year for Team Laws. They raced sprint triathlons, Windsor Olympic Distance Triathlon and a Half Ironman at the Cowman. They raced 5km and 10km running races and met loads of wonderful people.
This year they have entered the same races as 2010 ( they were blown away by the kindness and generosity of the race organisers and sponsors) and also Challenge Henley. The challenge series are a superbly organised set of races and Henley is an Iron Distance. This means DOUBLE the distance of the Cowman, so it's a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile marathon ....... In one go..... With no stopping..... And it all has to be done in under 16 hours!
Now Ben is not an elite triathlete, he works full time shift work, as does his wife, and shares his Daddy duties with her. A lot of Ben and Sam's time is spent taking Ewan to special physiotherapy sessions, speech and language classes and a vast array of outpatient appointments. They also have big sister Olivia to look after. Time is not on his side.
To say time for training is tight is an understatement. He is still a rookie in terms of racing having only competed and completed 6 triathlons. This is made all the more difficult as he will be towing Ewan, or as he is known, "The Ironkid" for the entire race. That means towing a kayak using a chest harness, pulling an adapted trailer for the bike leg and pushing an adapted running buggy for the run. Crazy idea - you bet.
Ben has loads of support not least from his Triathlon Club www.bcttt.com who are a great source of encouragement and advice. Ben still blames Darren Roberts aka Conehead for entering him for Henley!!!
So if you see Ben and Ewan at a race do feel free to have a chat or shout at Ben to go faster. He is going to need it.