Super Dad gets the surprise of his life

A dad from Dunstable who gave up everything to care for his terminally ill daughter has been left stunned after finding himself the centre of attention on national breakfast television this morning.

Martin Rackley, 38, and his daughter, Ruby, 3, have been supported by Keech Hospice Care in Luton since Ruby was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour just after her first birthday.

This morning, Martin’s selflessness was recognised when Keech Hospice Care arranged for ITV’s Good Morning Britain to spring an early morning live surprise on the Super Dad at the hospice.

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“I’m so shocked,” said Martin. “I had no idea all my friends and family, Keech nurses and Mr Showbiz himself, Richard Arnold, were lying in wait next door to where I was sitting.

“I’m very humbled but I don’t think I do any more for Ruby, or my other daughters, Chloe, 16, and Lexi, 8, than any other dad would. How my wife, Emma and everyone at Keech Hospice Care kept it a secret from me is unbelievable!”

Martin’s wife Emma had nothing but praise for her husband whose job in construction means he is out of the house for 15 hours a day to provide for his family. 

“The girls and I love Martin to bits, he is a Super Dad. Martin gave up everything to care full time for Ruby and enable me to fulfil my lifelong dream of training to be a midwife. When Ruby was diagnosed and throughout every bit of treatment she has had since, it is Martin who has held this family together through the toughest of times. He is our rock and an amazing man.

“We loved keeping it all a surprise and it was brilliant to have it happen at Keech Hospice Care as the charity means so much to us and makes such a difference to our family. Without Keech, we know we'd be in a very different place and it would certainly be a lonely place. We would be sitting at home with a very sick child thinking - is this it?”

Richard Arnold, Good Morning Britain’s Entertainment presenter, headed up the live reports from the Teenage Room at Keech Hospice Care and sprung the surprise on Martin.

“With it being Father’s Day this Sunday, we really wanted to celebrate a dad who thoroughly deserves it and Martin truly does. He’s a fantastic man and he looked shocked but over the moon.”

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Sonya O’Leary, Lead Nurse for the children’s hospice at Keech Hospice Care said Martin thoroughly deserves the limelight.

“Martin has given so much to us at Keech Hospice Care, from being a shoulder to other parents going through difficult times, to dressing up as the Easter Bunny to surprise all the children. He’s calm, gentle and the relationship he has with Ruby is magical. Every Thursday, Martin brought Ruby to Keech’s Tots and Toys playgroup and despite being the only man, he mucked in and it never fazed him. For Martin, it was all about Ruby and her needs.”

Martin, who has always wanted to drive a racing car, was presented this morning with a day’s VIP racing experience at Silverstone, tickets to the Grand Prix and a holiday for the whole family.

For further information contact Lorna Milton, PR Officer at Keech Hospice Care on 01582 497874/
07824606856 or at lmilton@keech.org.uk.