A mother-of-three, whose son was diagnosed with myocarditis, is cycling 680 miles to raise funds for teams at Evelina Children’s Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital who saved his life.
Kent Online reports that Caroline May, from Tunbridge Wells, took on the fundraising challenge to thank the teams who saved the life of her son, Arthur when a suspected common cold turned out to the rare and life-threatening illness myocarditis.
When the suspected cold showed no signs of improving, six-month-old Arthur was taken to hospital in Pembury, where further tests revealed problems with his heart. Needing specialist treatment, he was taken to the specialist paediatric intensive care unit at Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.
The team at the hospital’s South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) took care of Arthur on his journey. The STRS team consists of intensive care doctors and nurses who transfer sick children in ambulances equipped with specialist equipment.
Mrs May said: “It was such a surreal experience. As the sirens were going and the cars were pulling over to let us past, I was struck by just how serious the situation was and how every second the team spent treating Arthur mattered.”
When Arthur was admitted, he was battling for life with a heart function of just 11 per cent. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, meaning his heart wasn’t pumping properly.
Arthur, now three-years-old, is just like any other child, despite needing ongoing care for his condition.
Mrs May wanted to find a way to thank the teams who saved her son and set herself the cycling challenge which she will complete from her home while continuing to care for Arthur, and his older sisters, Sophie, nine, and Olive, five.
Her target of 680 miles, which she will be completing on her static cycle at home, is the 42.5 miles travelled by the STRS team between the hospitals, multiplied by 16, the number of days Arther spent in hospital. So far she has raised £2,350 of her £20,000 target.
The money will be split between Evelina London’s South Thames Retrieval Service and Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
If you would like to perform a fundraising challenge for a myocarditis charity in the UK, get in touch!