Girl’s death inspires dad to do Edinburgh Marathon

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Dad Robert Purdie watched helplessly as his toddler son Zak lay in intensive care. For three long days he willed his little boy to get better.

Meanwhile in a nearby room another set of parents were doing the same with their young daughter. But while Zak made it home safe and sound, tragically little Edie Murphy from Fife didn’t.

Now Robert, from Polmont, is running the Edinburgh Marathon this weekend to raise money for the fund set up by Edie’s grieving parents.

“There were a few children in intensive care when Zak was there and so many of them looked so poorly,” said Robert (42), a process operator at Ineos in Grangemouth.

“It was later when I heard what had happened to Edie and that her parents were fundraising for the Sick Kids Foundation in Edinburgh that I felt I had to run the marathon for them.”

Zak took ill suddenly last October. He ended up having to be placed in an induced coma and spent more than a week between hospital in Edinburgh and Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

He was suffering complex febrile seizures. Unlike typical febrile seizures which are sparked by a child’s rising temperature and last just a few minutes, complex seizures last more than 15 minutes each and can occur several times over the course of a day.

Zak was kept in an induced coma for three days while his condition stabilised. He then spent nearly a week recovering in the Larbert hospital.

Edie’s parents, Cheryl and Tom Murphy of Kirkcaldy, launched the fundraising appeal in her name after she passed away following several days in intensive care.

Robert added: “I’ve no idea how people like Edie’s parents Cheryl and Tom cope with what they’ve gone through. It makes you realise just what can happen.”

While Robert is doing the marathon, wife Emily will take on the 5k race cheered on by Zak and six-year-old sister Beth.

To support Robert’s fundraising, go to