Dad’s bike ride to thank hospital unit

Chris and Lorna Dickens with their baby daughter Lily aged eight months.
Chris and Lorna Dickens with their baby daughter Lily aged eight months.

A grateful dad will cycle with 12 friends from Liverpool to Leeds this weekend to raise cash for the unit which saved his baby daughter.

Little Lily was born eight weeks premature in January at Calderdale Royal Infirmary, weighing just just over 4lbs.

Daren Camm, Chris Dickens and Andy Boslic will cycle from Liverpool to Leeds.

Daren Camm, Chris Dickens and Andy Boslic will cycle from Liverpool to Leeds.

She was immediately taken into the hospital’s special care baby unit, where staff looked after her for three weeks.

To say thank you for the care they gave to baby Lily, dad Chris Dickens, 30, of Highgate Grove, Queenbury, hopes to raise more than £2,000 for the unit by his 125.7mile bike ride along the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

He said: “She was taken into the unit straight away. It was really terrifying. Looking back now, she was in a safe place. But at the time, you’re not sure what’s happening. You don’t know the doctors or nurses. You’re putting your trust in some people you don’t know. But they were absolutely brilliant. Everyone single one of them. We took Lily back in recently and they remembered us and couldn’t believe how big she was.”

Chris and his friends - who will also be raising money for the special care baby unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary - have been training for about two months for the mammoth bike ride. Chris said: “I wasn’t a cyclist before we started training. It’s going to be hard - training’s been hard so 127.5 miles is going to be hard.”