A COUPLE from York whose son was born three months early are supporting a new children’s charity bike ride in North Yorkshire.

Imogen, 30 and Euan Campbell, 35, from Rawcliffe, are lending their support to the ‘Vyking Ride’, organised by Action Medical Research on Sunday, April 19. Wilfred was born at just 25 weeks and four days, weighing a tiny 2lb 6oz.

Euan, a physiotherapist, will be taking in the 101 mile challenge in and around Ampleforth and says he just wants to give something back: “Our son Wilfred was born about three months early, which came as a major shock to us.

“Action helps fund vital research, some of which looks into the causes of premature birth and the complications that can arise from it. If we can help prevent other parents having to go through what we went through, then the challenge will be well worth it.”

Action Medical Research funds groundbreaking research to help find to cures, treatments and medical breakthroughs for some of the toughest fights that children face.

When Euan was born early it was a major shock for Imogen and Euan.

Imogen said: “I was in denial more than anything. I kept thinking, he can’t come, he can’t come. But your body knows, and in the end it was all very quick.”

Wilfred, who was cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was tube fed and needed a ventilator to help him breathe. Tests showed that, sadly, he had suffered a bleed on his brain, leading to irreversible brain damage.

Doctors also feared that the potentially deadly bowel disease NEC had taken hold.

After four months in hospital, little Wilfred was finally able to go home, weighing 7lbs. Now aged three, Wilfred has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy but thankfully is mildly affected. He loves nothing more than playing with his little sister Edith who is nearly one.

Riders taking part in the Vyking Ride can choose from two routes: 58 or 101 miles.

Action’s community fundraising manager for York, Georgina Thornton, says it’ll be a good challenge: “Each circular course starts and finished at the stunning Ampleforth College and riders will take in some of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque towns and villages including Helmsley, Rosedale Abbey and Osmotherley.

“There are some pretty steep climbs in there – it’s definitely a challenge. But there are plenty of feed stations and of course you’ll get your well-deserved medal at the end.

“We are delighted that Euan is joining us in this inaugural ‘Vyking’ challenge. The Campbell’s story really helps encapsulate all that Action is and why we raise vital funds.”

Entry is £40 which includes chip timing, feed stations, mechanical support, emergency support and a medal.

Further information on the ride can be found here.