Inspirational father from Coates will take on charity cycle trek to Paris to raise money for The Sick Children's Trust
PUBLISHED: 11:36 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 24 July 2018
A father from Coates will take on a cycling challenge of a lifetime to raise funds for The Sick Children's Trust who offered support when his one-month-old son became seriously ill.
Russell Cooper, 34, will cycle from Stevenage to Paris in a bid to raise £2000 for the charity to provide accommodation for families whose children are in hospital.
Russell, along with his fiancé, Kelly Slater, 31, were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust with free ‘home from home’ accommodation in March this year while their one-month-old baby, Jack, received lifesaving treatment in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
When Jack was just four weeks old, Russell and Kelly began to notice a change in their son.
He showed symptoms of a cold, had gone off his food and seemed very sombre and sleepy.
They rushed Jack back to A&E at Peterborough City Hospital, but while he was being assessed by the nurse the unthinkable happened when Jack stopped breathing.
Former police officer for the Royal Air Force, Russell, said: “Our world fell apart when Jack stopped breathing. With a slap of the red button, alarms blared. The cubicle filled with what felt like a dozen people.
“When the nurse opened her mouth to speak all I could think was that Jack had gone, but as her face softened she uttered the only words we needed to hear, ‘he’s a lot more stable now’.
Doctors diagnosed Jack with severe bronchiolitis, an infection which causes the smallest airways in the lungs to become infected and inflamed.
It was on arrival at Addenbrooke’s Hospital that Russell and Kelly found out about The Sick Children’s Trust and was given a set of keys to Acorn House.
Russell continued: “For the following eight days Acorn House was such a comfort to us whilst Jack recovered.
“Fortunately we got Jack home quickly and he is thriving, and now I’m focusing on how I would like to show our appreciation to The Sick Children’s Trust. “I have an opportunity to make a difference to a lot of people who find themselves in situations like Kelly and I did, by raising money for them.”
Acorn House manager, Abi Abdel-aal, said: “The money Russell raises from this epic challenge will make a huge difference to many families who need our support.”
To get behind The Sick Children’s Trust and sponsor Russell visit his Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/illbewalkinglikejohnwayne