Next weekend motorcyclist Andreas Wales will set off to travel 1,000 across Europe – within a 24 hour period – to raise funds for the hospital that saved his niece’s life.
Andreas, 51, had already planned a trip to Holland when his beloved niece, Charlie Wales, was taken ill last month.
Charlie suffers from a life-threatening illness which caused her to have four successive cardiac arrests. The 25-year-old also suffered a brain injury which led to her losing her sight.
When Andreas heard about the ‘amazing’ care she had received at West Suffolk Hospital’s critical care unit, he contacted the My WiSH Charity about raising funds – his way of saying ‘thank you’.
He said: “How can you ever thank them for saving such a young life?”
His 24-hour challenge, which he will complete on his new Yamaha FJR 1300 motorbike, will start on July 31 in the Hook of Holland and end in Vilnius, Lithuania.
He plans to stop only for food and fuel and has dubbed it his ‘iron butt challenge’.
He said: “I will ride across Holland into Germany heading to Berlin, from there I will cross the border into Poland then across to Lithuania where I’ll head to the capital city Vilnius, which is going to be around 1,000 miles or more.”
“My butt is going to suffer, definitely,” he added.
West Suffolk’s critical care team has looked after Charlie for weeks and has witnessed how far she has progressed.
She has been using the hospital’s new Motomed bed bike regularly to aid her recovery and can now stand for short periods of time.
Charlie said: “The staff have been brilliant and have looked after me so well. It’s nice that my uncle can do something like this so that we can thank everyone.”
To support Andreas, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andreas-Wales