Grandfather cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats to thank Yorkshire hospital for saving his grandson's life

Chris Tuckett
Chris Tuckett
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A grateful grandfather is cycling almost 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in nine days this month for Sheffield Children’s Hospital to thank staff for saving his grandson’s life.

Christopher Tuckett, 71, will take on the challenge to express his gratitude for the care his grandson, Sam received after an accident on a family day out in the Peak District.

Sam Tuckett

Sam Tuckett

Sam fell six metres through a 40cm-wide opening in the ground, the same size as an A3 piece of paper, hitting his head and body on the rocks as he fell.

His Dad Mark clambered down to Sam, who was bleeding heavily and crying.

Sam was rushed by ambulance to the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Eight hours passed before Sam was stable enough to be moved onto a ward.

After several days of treatment, he now seems to have made a full recovery.

Christopher, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, said: “We were shocked when we heard about the accident, it was a very distressing time.

"When I stopped and thought about what we had been through, that’s when The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal to improve the facilities became such a moving one for me.

“Helping to look after parents while the hospital cares for their children is so important.

"In Sam’s case, his parents were deeply shocked, knowing just how serious his condition was.

"Giving the family a space where they can relax and feel more comfortable can make such a difference, especially if a child sees their parent at ease and by their side.”

Sam’s Mum Louise added: “We experienced first-hand that the Emergency Department needs to be developed. The care was fantastic, but we never realised how well the staff manage with the limited space.

“We’re determined to help them build a place which has all the facilities that they could possibly need, because our story could to happen to anyone.”

Family and friends from Oxfordshire have already and helped Christopher to raise an incredible £1,720 in sponsorship for the almost 1,000-mile Ride Across Britain challenge so far, which takes place between 7th-15th September.

Christopher added: “I’m doing the cycle ride because I want to but being able to do it for a cause close to my heart will make it so worthwhile. It’s an iconic ride.”

“I’ve been gradually building up my training and distances over the last few months, so I hope I’ll be ready for it and can make it to the finish line!”

Christopher’s fundraising will be split evenly between The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Emergency Department appeal and the effort to transform the facilities at the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The ward serves as a Principle Treatment Centre for children from babies through to 19 years old for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire but sees patients across the UK for treatment and surgeries such as bone marrow transplants.

Christopher added: “That strand of the appeal also has special meaning for me, as my mother died of leukaemia at a relatively young age. Whether you are a parent of a child who has had an accident or a child who needs to stay in hospital a long time, it’s just as difficult.”

The re-development of the cancer and leukaemia ward will see the space transformed into a brighter and refreshed space for both patients and their families staying there.

Freya Kingswood, Events Fundraising Assistant at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “It is heart-warming to hear about Christopher’s challenge, which will see him cycling the length of the UK to express his gratitude for the life-saving care Sam received at our hospital.

“Every penny raised will help refresh areas throughout Sheffield Children’s Hospital for young patients across the country who depend on our excellent care. We’re so grateful for all of his support and wish him the very best of luck.”

To support Christopher’s challenge, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christopher-tuckett1