CYCLISTS will embark on a 140-mile charity ride in aid of hospital staff who helped save a stricken baby.
Little Caden James Morrell was just two weeks old when he was rushed into hospital gasping for air.
As medics carried out urgent tests on their first-born, mum Kim Fisher, 28, and partner Ian Morrell, 30, faced an anxious wait for news.
Medics later revealed the tot had been born with a congenital condition called ventricular septal defect, meaning he would need immediate life-saving surgery.
He was admitted to the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, where he underwent an eight-hour operation.
Now, in a bid to raise money for the ward where he was treated, the Hetton couple will join friends and relations on a three-day bike ride this weekend.
“We really wanted to do something for the ward,” said organiser Jolene Brumby, Ian’s sister. “They do an amazing job.”
The 10-strong team, which also includes Jolene, her husband Paul and Kim’s sister Gemma, have been given “amazing support” in the run-up to the fund-raising feat, which will follow a route from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, to Sunderland.
We’ve all put a lot of work into the training and preparation,” said Jolene. “We’ve also been given amazing support.”
“TRW Automotive Systems, in Houghton, are sponsoring us with £500 and also local company Propeller provided the T-shirts,” she said. “North East Mobility Warehouse is also letting us use their van and driver to take our bikes to Whitehaven and support us on the trip.
“Leroy Johnson and the Flicks are also going to perform a free gig for us at a later date.”
After weeks and months of follow-up appointments and further tests, nine-month-old Caden has made a full recovery and Kim, a staff nurse at the stroke unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, and Ian, a forklift truck driver at Nissan, in Washington, are looking forward to life as a family.
“He’s doing really well,” said Jolene. “He had to go to hospital again for a brief visit, but thankfully it was nothing serious. He’s coming along really well.”
The team is still looking for a firm or organisation to donate a minibus to take them to Cumbria. Anyone who can help should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a donation to the charity ride, visit www.justgiving.com and search for “Jolene Brumby-Morrell” in the “sponsor a friend” box.