100 bikers rev up for motorcycle ride to help children ward

Dorset Echo: RIDE ORGANISER: John Bramble with his  grandaughter Sophie Davidge, who was treated at their ICU baby unit RIDE ORGANISER: John Bramble with his grandaughter Sophie Davidge, who was treated at their ICU baby unit

MORE than 100 riders will put the pedal to the metal for a charity motorcycle event in aid of a life-saving children’s ward.

The ride, from Weymouth to Southampton, has been organised by John Bramble, from Chickerell, and his daughter Anne Allen, from Poole, as a thank you to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Southampton General Hospital.

The unit helped Anne’s daughter Sophie Davidge when she was born with a heart problem, which meant that the two main arteries going out of the heart—the pulmonary artery and the aorta—were switched in position.

This condition means that too little oxygen is carried in the blood that goes from the heart to the rest of the body.

At just eight days old, little Sophie had open heart surgery to put the condition right.

While doing the surgery doctors found she has 10 holes in her heart as well and corrected those too. In total Sophie was in the hospital for 19 days, which at the time her mum Anne said felt like a ‘lifetime’ but looking back she said: “It’s amazing how quickly she recovered from it.”

During her time in hospital Sophie was on the PICU ward, as well as the Ocean ward and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) briefly.

Now nearly three years old Sophie may need another operation when she is older, but Anne said: “She’s full of energy. We would never know there was anything wrong with her.”

The ride will take place on Sunday July 6 leaving Lodmoor Coutry Park at 10am sharp and riding to Itchen Valley Country Park in Southampton. All bikes, scooters, trikes and learners are welcome to join in.

It is £5 to join the ride and John and Anne are hoping to raise £1,000 for the Friends of PICU charity.

Anne said: “It’s our thank you to them and keep it up with all the other children.”

Sophie’s granddad John said they had more than a hundred riders signed up to their Facebook page, from as far as Essex, Somerset and London.

He described his granddaughter as ‘absolutely brilliant’ and added that if the charity ride was a success, they had plans to do others .

John will be riding his Harley Davidson bike and Anne will be the passenger, and Sophie will be travelling in the convoy in a car with her sister Megan and grandma Wendy Bramble.

To get involved visit Facebook and search for Charity ride for Friends of PICU or visit the Just Giving page- justgiving.com/SouthamptonBikeRide.

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