Mornflake Patience Lamb

A brave youngster who has overcome major health issues to excel in one of the world’s toughest sports has received support from employer Mornflake.

Patience Lamb, 16, has been selected to represent her country in the European Junior Cup triathlon in Quarteira, Portugal at the end of this month.

And the Crewe-based cereal maker has stepped in to help towards her costs.

The youngster, from Crewe, has succeeded as a triathlete despite undergoing brain surgery twice and is earmarked as a future Olympian.

Her dad Wayne said: “At the age of two Patience began to display worrying symptoms.

“My wife noticed a lack of coordination, headaches, lack of appetite, vomiting, hearing issues, problems with sight and speech.

“After further investigation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Patience was diagnosed with one of the most severe and youngest cases of Chiari Malformation and 96 hours later was under the knife receiving life changing brain surgery.

“I decided to do a triathlon to repay the charity Ronald McDonald House for the kindness they had shown by enabling me to stay with my wife and Patience during her stay in Alder Hey.

“Patience watched on with excitement promising that one day she too would do a triathlon.

“And four years later, at just seven years-old, she entered her first triathlon as the youngest competitor and her love for the sport was born.”

Patience is now on the Olympic Pathway as a member of the England Next Generation Talent Squad.

She races for the West Midlands Academy and Newcastle (Staffs) Tri Club in Stoke and combines her A level studies with up to 30 hours training a week.

She has taken the top spot on the podium many times despite suffering a set-back in 2022 when her symptoms returned and she had to undergo another operation.

Wayne added: “At the start of the season Patience’s symptoms started to get worse, with numbness and electric shocks in her back and arm.

“Investigations confirmed the original brain condition was back and had now worsened into Syringomyelia, a neurological disorder in which a fluid-filled cyst forms within the spinal cord causing pressure to build up and can lead to paralysis.

“She had to have further brain surgery which was a success and to the amazement of doctors, she was up and walking within two days.

“It was hard returning to training but she wouldn’t be beaten and by January 2023 she was back racing properly again.

“Triathlons are a gruelling mix of stamina and speed, combining swimming, cycling and running.

“Despite brain surgery twice and later developing a heart condition, Patience refuses to let her medical challenges prevent her achieving her dreams of representing her nation and eventually qualifying as a doctor.

“We couldn’t be more proud and want to say a big thank-you to Mornflake for their support.”

Patience has a busy season ahead. April brings the first of seven races as part of the British Triathlon Super Series and ends in September with the Grand Final (British Championships).

Mornflake managing director James Lea: “Patience is a courageous young lady who has defied the odds to excel at her sport.

“Life has presented many challenges but she has shown incredible determination. We are delighted to support her in the next stage of her competitive career.”

Mornflake, which makes a range of healthy breakfast products, is a long-time supporter of the UK Triathlon series which encourages all abilities to challenge their stamina and improve their fitness levels.

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