A West Dorset mum will be running 10 miles to raise awareness of an illness which left her little girl fighting for life.

Joanna Jones from Waytown, near Bridport, is running in the Bupa Great South Run on Sunday on behalf of the Encephalitis Society.

Her five-year-old daughter Phoebe was struck down by viral encephalitis earlier this year.

Joanna said that delays in spotting the condition, which is inflammation of the brain, meant that Phoebe became desperately ill and ended up on life-support in an intensive care unit in Southampton.

Phoebe is now back at Loders Primary School, but Joanna, commercial manager for an aerospace company, says that she is still showing the effects of the illness and wants other parents and medical staff to be aware of it.

She said that there were various delays after Phoebe first became unwell.

Joanna says that Phoebe was a fit and healthy four-year-old who was enjoying her first year at school when she developed a nasty cold, cough and fever, felt sick and complained of a headache.

Phoebe then had a massive seizure and was struggling to breathe and was hallucinating.

She was taken to hospital where they thought she had a febrile convulsion but Phoebe then had another massive seizure.

Phoebe was in intensive care at the Dorset County Hospital and was also on life support at Southampton General Hospital.

Joanna said: “Phoebe spent some time in the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton on life support.

“Her recovery has been slow. We are assessing what long-term damage her brain has received.”

For more information and how to sponsor Jo Jones visit Justgiving.com/joanna jones2.

Visit Encephalitis.info for more information about the Encephalitis Society.