A recovered drug and alcohol addict who took up running in lockdown has completed back-to-back marathons to thank a hospital for his baby son's care.

Gary Lockwood, from Burwell, near Newmarket, credits West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds with saving Bobby's life when he suffered a severe nose bleed, stopped breathing and went into shock at just five weeks old.

The 48-year-old, who is a self-employed roof tiler, said following Bobby's recovery from the "freak" incident, he and partner Tina Basing, 35, wanted to give back to the hospital's Rainbow Ward where staff also took great care of the couple.

Mr Lockwood completed two marathons back-to-back - 52.4 miles - for the hospital's My WiSH Charity in August, raising more than £1,000, and he hopes his passion for running will bring "hope" to those currently battling substance addiction.

He ran along a circular route through his local area, despite having had Covid two months earlier that affected his breathing.

He said: "I suffer from social anxiety now and I’m not really a people person so queueing up for a run with other people is not for me, but I just like to get out and run and run which I get a buzz from.

“I’m really pleased to have raised the money and to have helped the hospital out and if my running gives a bit of hope to other people with drug and alcohol addiction then that’s a bit of an achievement as well.”

Mr Lockwood has now been abstinent for nearly seven years following a long-term battle with addiction.

He spoke about a time in his life when he "hit rock bottom" after his father died, and he realised he was going to end up with nothing unless he changed.

He said "pure stubbornness," as well as being ready, was how he managed to conquer addiction.

Determination is a quality Mr Lockwood pours into his running, having now run "only" about 14 marathons in distance (not official events).

He began running in April last year, when his gym closed because of the pandemic, but within only four months he ran his first marathon distance. He normally clocks up 20-25 miles a week.

For August's challenge for the hospital he was supported by his friend Michael Hales, from Fordham, who cycled alongside him and even had to bike for 12 miles with a puncture.

Describing the wonderful care Mr Lockwood and his partner also received at West Suffolk Hospital's Rainbow Ward, he said: "They fed and watered us both. They went out of their way for us and it was during Covid as well."

Bobby, now six months old, is "as healthy as you like now," Mr Lockwood said, although it was a worrying time for the couple.

He managed to raise a total of £1,516.74, which is being directed towards the Rainbow Ward and will be used by its health play specialist Laura Nudds to buy toys and equipment to help prepare children for procedures and reduce their anxieties through play.

Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for My WiSH, said Mr Lockwood's "drive and determination is just incredible".

"The money he has raised is just fantastic and will help Laura in her new role on the Rainbow Ward, helping her to help other young patients who find themselves in hospital which, in turn, also helps alleviate the worry for the parents so we are truly grateful,” she said.