Eastbourne father and daughter charity bike ride for medical equipment

A father and daughter from Eastbourne are completing a charity bike ride next month to raise money for important medical equipment for newborns.

John and seven-year-old Grace Martin, will cycle from Eastbourne Railway Station to Beachy Head, then Sovereign Harbour, and then back to the station on February 13.

The 10-mile ride will raise money for Tiny Tickers – a charity that aims to improve the early detection, diagnosis, and care of babies with congenital heart diseases (CHD) through a combination of improving standards, providing specialised training and increasing education and information.

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Money raised will allow Tiny Tickers to purchase pulse oximetry machines for the DGH and Hastings Conquest. This comes as East Sussex NHS Trust has agreed to do pulse oximetry testing on newborns from March this year.

The Martin family SUS-220128-104415001

The subject is important to the family because son Sebastian, now five, has a heart condition that was undetected until he was three months old and caused various health issues in that time including poor weight gain, poor growth and tiredness.

At three months Sebastian succumbed to bronchiolitis, collapsed and had to be blue lighted to hospital. It was only during this time in A&E that his loud heart murmur was detected which led to the diagnosis of a CHD. Since then Sebastian has had two open-heart surgeries.

He continues to have a CHD that causes issues and will likely require more surgery this year.

Tiny Tickers can provide the machines for free to the trust, purchased through donations. The testing is completely pain-free on the newborn and can have life-saving effects.

John with Grace and Sebastian SUS-220128-104404001

Julie Martin, Grace’s mum, said, “This is Grace’s first fundraiser of this sort where she’s doing a challenging cycle ride for her age. But she’s keen to challenge herself and hopes you’ll sponsor us accordingly.

“So please give what you can, and help the babies of East Sussex being born with undiagnosed CHDs to have the best chance of life. Thank you.”