A husband and wife team, who are both nurses at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust(NSFT), will be setting off on a 350-mile charity bike ride next week in memory of their baby niece.
Jon Fahey, a mental health Staff Nurse in the Great Yarmouth Adult Acute service and Lisa Fahey, a mental health Charge Nurse based at the young person’s Dragonfly Unit, in Carleton Colville, near Lowestoft, are part of a team who will cycle for six consecutive days from Lowestoft to West Bay, in Dorset.
Setting off on June 17 from Jon and Lisa’s home address in Lowestoft, the five riders are all Fahey family members. Together they will be raising money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH), where twin Lola Fahey was cared for and sadly passed away at just 12 weeks old.
Jon’s older brother Matthew Fahey, 39, and his partner Erika Hurst delivered premature twins Lola and Ruby on 1 April 2016. The family team will cross the cycling challenge finish line on the first anniversary of the day that Lola passed away, June 22.
Jon, 35 explains: “The little girls were both very poorly when they were born. Ruby was eventually able to return home but Lola was transferred to GOSH for more specialised care. She remained there for five to six weeks, until we were told there was no more they could do and they let her go.”
Jon, Lisa and Matthew will be joined by younger brothers Louis and Keeran on the ride, and all of the riders will be greeted by their parents, Steven and Sally Fahey at the finish line in Dorset.
Jon explains why they chose Lowestoft to Dorset: “The route is very poignant for us as we were travelling to have a family holiday in Dorset in June last year when we found out Lola had sadly passed away. A year later we are honouring the care GOSH gave to Lola while she was very ill.”
The team will clock up around 60 miles-a-day, stopping at Manningtree, Grays, Brighton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth, before crossing the finish line.
Jon and Lisa regularly cycle their 10-mile commute to work and said training has consisted of getting in the saddle as much as possible. But Lola’s dad, Matthew, thinks it will be a much bigger challenge for him, having not ridden a bike since he was 15.
“My brothers and sister-in-law ride regularly, but for me even the training has hurt quite a lot. But it’s worth it to be able to say thank-you to the doctors and nurses at GOSH. In fact, all of the staff without exception were hugely supportive to me and my family and made our experience as comfortable as possible,” said Matthew.
The team has so far raised over £700. To find out more about their fundraising and to offer them support you can their Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/MATT-FAHEY4?utm_id=121