Bristol girl Evie Clements may look like any other toddler – but just a cuddle could leave her with broken bones.

Evie has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bones, and at the start of life was having fractures every week.

Now, thanks to the OI team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, parents Sarah and Matt are managing Evie’s condition and are able to pick her up and give her cuddles.

To say thank you for the care received Sarah and Matt are running Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 23 September to raise funds for the OI team at the children's hospital.

Sarah said: “At the start when Evie was having a fracture every week it was terrifying and very isolating.

“We struggled to give her a cuddle as the risk of us breaking her was too high. We both experienced her breaking in our arms, which as parents is absolutely devastating.

“The OI team worked closely with us to build up our confidence when handling Evie. When we finally got to the point where we could give her a cuddle it was the best feeling in the world.

“Without the incredible team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children we would not have got to this point.”

Evie was diagnosed with the rare condition when she was just a few weeks old.

Since then the 17-month-old has had a total of 10 more fractures and has needed surgeries to repair her broken bones.

Sarah said: “When I was 37 weeks pregnant we were told there could be a few complications with her physicality, so we were delighted to find that she was a healthy baby when she was born.

“We had two weeks of cuddles and passing her around to friends and family, then her arm went limp after just picking her up.

“We went straight to A&E where the doctor carried out a routine hip check which resulted in a broken femur.

“Evie then spent two weeks in hospital in traction to fix the fracture. Within that time specialists and consultants were working hard to understand why the break happened so easily.

“Luckily, Evie was diagnosed with OI quickly as many families we have spoken with since have found themselves under investigation for fractures that they can’t explain.

“We received weekly hydrotherapy and physiotherapy and have specialist equipment and training in order to pick her up.”

Now Sarah and Matt, who are also parents to Isabelle, three, will run the Bristol Half Marathon to give something back to the Bristol OI team.

They will be joined by their family friend Stacey and are aiming to raise £1,500 between them.

Sarah said: “In the UK there are only three OI specialist centres and we are lucky enough to have one on our doorstep.

“Honestly we cannot put into words how much this amazing team have done for us. After 17 months we now have a happy, cheeky and determined little girl and the OI team have played a huge part in this.

“Because of them we now look forward to the future instead of dread it and when there have been hard times they are there every step of the way.

“We want to raise funds to support more families, to help with much-needed research and emotional and physical support for children who have OI.”

To sponsor the family for their half marathon efforts, visit their fundraising page.


Anyone interested in taking on a running event to raise funds for Bristol's hospitals can contact Lydia on [email protected]