Thank you for your donations, it really does help with our motivation to get out training!
Damian, half of our amazing support crew, has commented that the numbers, 500 miles over 6 days doesn’t sound as scary as the reality of up to 12 hours in the saddle, maybe 12 hours out of it, before going again or put another way run a marathon every day for a week 😳 but if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t feel the same asking for sponsorship. The training is pretty terrifying too, when looking at the planned long rides and realising that cycling from Cheltenham to Bournemouth is not actually long enough…. and it seems a long way when we drive! I’m just grateful I talked Tom out of his original thoughts of 1000+mile cycle!!
Updated on Thu, February 2 2023, 7:23 PM
Freddie's Story told by Rachel, his Mum
Freddie used to be an active child, would play sport & cycle to school & to friends. After the first lockdown, his energy levels had diminished and his appetite was poor. We sought help from medical professionals as he was fading away before our eyes. They all thought his lack of interest in food was his problem.
One night, we insisted that he went for a walk with dad, Adam. Not far, but he was in pain & struggling. Adam wanted to call 111 but Freddie insisted we didn't. Soon after, he vomited. We called 111, they sent an ambulance. The paramedic listened to his chest & hooked him up to a monitor, turned it to her colleague & just gave him a subtle nod. We noticed that his toes & lips were turning blue. I always think back to that night; what if he hadn’t been sick..?
They took him to Gloucester Hospital & we found out the shocking news that Freddie had heart failure. He was taken to Bristol Children’s hospital by ambulance, where they discovered that he had Rheumatic heart disease. Extremely rare in the UK. A week later, he had open heart surgery to repair 2 valves in his heart. He was extremely underweight, barely 30kg. At nearly 15 years he should be over 40kg.
He went home 2 weeks later. It was scarier than taking him home as a newborn. 4 weeks later he was back in Bristol, he wasn’t thriving. The first time he was in was extremely shocking, but there was a definite plan to save him. This time was different. There was plan a: medicate, complete bedrest & hope his heart function improved. But also plan b. A conversation with Great Ormond Street to put him on the transplant list. Something we didn’t discuss with Freddie. He was scared enough.
Freddie had been in a few days, when we were introduced to Xander, from Youth@Hearth, who would come in & spend time with him, support him. We welcomed anything to make Freddie’s life happier. For the next 3 months Freddie was in hospital, Xander visited twice a week. Chatted, played games, anything Freddie wanted. When Xander came in, it also gave Adam & I a break. A change of scenery knowing that Freddie had great company & a break from us. No 15 year old should spend that much time with their parents.
Thankfully, we didn’t need plan b. We still have support from Youth@Heart now we're home. Great days out & we know they are always available for a chat. Freddie is now 16, & unfortunately is about to go back into hospital for more major surgery. Xander is ready to be there for him. He is still under the care of the Children’s hospital, but Xander will be there to help him transition to the Adults hospital when needed.
Updated on Mon, December 19 2022, 8:31 PM