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Steve's pedal push is to say thanks
A NEW dad is taking part in a charity bike ride to raise money for a hospital which cared for his baby who was born with a rare condition.
Steve Attridge will cycle 66 miles around the Isle of Wight this weekend to raise cash for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity, after his son Jake spent the first 10 days of his life there.
Jake was born with bladder exstrophy – a condition which affects just one in 40,000 babies born in the UK each year.
Steve, 32, and his wife Mags, 31, discovered at a 20-week scan that their unborn child had the condition, which means his bladder was left open and exposed.
The couple, from Cleveland Close, Buckskin, Basingstoke, faced the agony of being separated from Jake as soon as he was born on February 17 at Basingstoke hospital. He was transferred to GOSH for an operation the following day.
Jake is now doing well but will need further operations at the hospital in 18 months, and when he is five-years-old.
Steve, an underwriting team manager at Unum, in Basing View, said: “If everything goes okay then he will grow up to have a perfectly normal life. But he may need a catheter if he has problems with continence and he will have to take antibiotics up to his mid to late teens because he’s more at risk of urinary and bladder infections.”
Steve said the care his family received at GOSH was the reason he decided to raise money.
He added: “The staff work 12-hour shifts and have so many children to look after, but you never felt like you were in the way. They went out of their way to make sure we were looked after and nothing was too much.
“The hardest part was not being able to pick Jake up straight away. But the support from staff really helped and when he started to get better they encouraged us to look after him. It helped to prepare us for when we brought him home.”
Steve is now cycling after work and at the weekends to prepare for the Isle of Wight Randonnee on May 6, and hopes to raise £500 through sponsorship for GOSH, which needs to raise £50million each year. He said: “It’s to show gratitude, and thanks for the support and care we received.”
To sponsor Steve visit justgiving.com/Steve-Attridge.