An Ayr man who recently lost his wife and unborn son to cystic fibrosis is running the Great Scottish Run in their memory.

Joe Chapman is taking part in the event following the tragic death of his pregnant wife at the age of just 23.

Holly was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of one-and-a-half.

Although she was in and out of hospital regularly, it was something she kept very private to those around her.

Joe said: “Holly and I met at the school we both attended down in England. We started going out in 2010 and got married in August 2015.

“I only found out she had the condition after about eight months of us being together. It wasn’t something she really spoke about, she just dealt with it.

“It was probably around 2012 that we noticed her health slowly deteriorating. She would be in hospital around two to three times a year for a two-week period to go on an IV drip to boost her immune system and clear chest infections.

“Every year since then she would be in hospital more and more.”

Due to her needing IV drips more frequently, Holly’s mum and Joe both received training to administer them from home, rather than Holly being in hospital for long periods at a time.

On November 27 last year Holly found out she was pregnant, but at the same time her health was beginning to deteriorate at a much faster rate.

Joe said: “Holly was needing to be in hospital for around six to seven weeks at a time. I remember her being let out for six days at Christmas time, but she really couldn’t do much herself, she got too out of breath.

“I had to carry her up and down the stairs and help her get dressed. She was also permanently on oxygen.”

On March 8, Holly had a fit at home and was taken by ambulance to Ayr Hospital. She was transferred to a specialist unit in Glasgow, where her health got slightly better over the next couple of days.

Joe said: “The specialist advised if she didn’t improve, that we should consider aborting our baby.”

But just days later, Holly’s condition worsened and she became very ill.

Joe added: “We decided it was time to let her be at peace and we made the decision to turn off her ventilator.

“Holly left the world far too young due to this horrible disease. Cystic fibrosis is a really common disease but not many people know much about it which is why I decided to take part in the Great Scottish Run, to raise awareness and also raise vital funds for the trust.”

You can sponsor Joe via his JustGiving page at