Cycling Scientists to Pedal from Paris for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
Joel Turner, a Post Doctorate Research Associate in Nuclear Fuel
from Timperley, and colleagues James Buckley and Prof Tim Abram
from West Didsbury will be cycling from Paris to Royal Manchester
Children's Hospital to raise money for the hospital which cared for
Joel's baby son, Harry.
The group of scientists, who work at the School of Mechanical,
Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester
will set off from their hotel close to the Eiffel Tower on the
morning of 11th June, reaching the children's hospital
on 17th June after pedalling an impressive 400
miles. Welcoming them back to their home city will be Joel's wife,
Amy, Harry and eldest son Jake.
In December 2013 Harry was born with a Sacrococcygeal Teratoma,
a tumour at the bottom of his spine, discovered in a scan shortly
before he was born. The family's care was then transferred to Saint
Mary's Hospital. Amy was induced and Harry was born two weeks early
on 4th December 2013, following which he spent 2 weeks on the
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
After a brief visit home, at just 13 days
old Harry went through major surgery to remove the tumour. Part of
Harry's spine was also removed to hopefully prevent its regrowth.
He spent a further week on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) and was
released from hospital the night before Christmas Eve, as dad Joel
says, a very close call!
Harry featured on the Channel 5 documentary which aired last
December called 'The Kid's Hospital at Christmas'. The programme
followed patients at the hospital over the festive period. Harry's
story was particularly concerning due to the risk of severing an
artery in the process of removing the tumour as well as the
possibility of it not being extracted whole. Joel and Amy credit Mr
Ross Craigie for carrying out the 'amazing' procedure.
Now a happy and healthy little boy Harry has made a fantastic
recovery although as dad says he now has a 'wonky bum' which means
he now toddles comically! Harry has check-ups with Mr Craigie every
six months and will be under his care for a number of years.
James, a PHD Student and Tim, the Westinghouse Chair of Nuclear
Fuel did not hesitate when Joel asked them to take part in the
cycling challenge to raise money for the hospital which treated
Harry. While James has undertaken long rides before, this
will be by far the longest and is a completely new experience for
the others, Joel more used to his 8 mile commute to the university
Joel Turner says:
"The first month of Harry's life was by far the hardest time in
my life, and through it all the staff and volunteers at Royal
Manchester Children's Hospital were incredible, taking care of
Harry and us whenever we needed it, lifting our spirits and most
importantly giving me a healthy happy son. Harry has check-ups
every few months to check for signs that the tumours coming back,
but so far everything looks good.
We can't thank the hospital enough - by doing this ridiculous
bike ride I'm really hoping to raise enough money to allow them to
continue going above and beyond, providing the little extras that
make such difficult times that bit easier to cope with. Things like
the light show in the ultrasound department, to let us distract
Harry while he has his regular scans, or the toys and games in the
outpatients waiting area. They're an amazing place and they deserve
to be supported."
All money raised through sponsorship will be supporting the High
Dependency Unit and Radiology at RMCH and the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit next door at sister hospital, Saint Mary's. So far the
trio have raised over £1500 with more donations still to come.
Angela Rowe, Community Fundraising Manager at Royal Manchester
Children's Hospital, added:
"We're so excited to welcome the trio back to the hospital where
it all started at the end of their journey, what they are
undertaking is a huge challenge and we wish them the very of luck.
We are thrilled to hear that Harry is now doing so well. I know how
many people were touched by his story when the documentary was
aired last December"
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity raises funds to
ensure continued excellence in treatment, care and research at the
hospital - improving the lives of thousands of children each year
across the North West and beyond.
The support of the Charity means that the hospital can provide
additional resources that make life easier for patients and their
families who use the hospital.
To sponsor Joel, Tim and James visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Manchester-to-Paris-Ride/
or text PAMR91 and donation amount to 70070.