HOSPITAL staff have praised a seven-year-old boy for an “overwhelming” donation which will help babies being treated on the children’s ward.
Josh Wilkinson, of Tytton Lane East, Wyberton, collected more than £7,000 by completing a mammoth 140-mile coast to coast cycling challenge from Whitehaven to Tynemouth.
He took up the journey with his dad Simon and family friend Wayne Huckle, who lives near Sleaford, as a thank you to staff who treated him at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital when he fell seriously ill at just 11 months old.
The youngster, who attends St Thomas’ Primary School in Boston, took two-and-a-half days to complete the ride – a feat that would usually take children about five days and an adult two.
Simon said: “I’m really proud of Josh for doing this and all the dedication he put into the training.
“We chose Pilgrim Hospital as Josh was treated there when he was a baby. He had double pneumonia, MRSA and chicken pox all at the same time and was in intensive care at Pilgrim and in Leicester for 28 days.
“Doing this cycle ride is our way of saying thank you and giving something back for the treatment he received.”
The trio had not attempted anything like the event before and they had been in training since the middle of last year to build up their fitness and endurance.
Josh, Simon and Wayne had set themselves a fundraising target of £1,000 but last week were able to hand over the cheque for £7,163 to staff on the children’s ward.
Margaret Goodley, a ward sister at Pilgrim Hospital, said: “Josh raised a fantastic amount of money for the children’s ward at Pilgrim hospital. I and all the staff want to thank him, his family and friends for donating this money.
“The equipment purchased will be used to help a large number of jaundiced babies over many years. Cycling 140 miles is a phenomenal achievement for anyone let alone a child of seven. To raise over £7,000 in sponsorship is overwhelming.”
The money donated will be used by Pilgrim Hospital to buy two phototherapy machines to help treat babies who develop jaundice.