New-born Sonny Markham has benefitted from the way Ian Turner marked his Diamond Jubilee in the summer.
Ian, from Thurston, decided to take on five tough challenges, supported by family and friends, and raised more than £10,000 for West Suffolk Hospital’s neo-natal unit.
Last Thursday he went to the hospital to see how the money had been spent and met new mum Hayley Markham with Sonny who was using one of six special cot warmers Ian funded. The warmers are used to quickly warm premature and new-born babies.
Ian, who owns Abbey Motor Factors with his wife Claire, chose to support the unit because of the care his twin sons received there when they were born prematurely. One of the babies died at seven weeks old but his twin, Christopher, now 34, joined Ian on the challenges.
Ian said: “I’m really pleased with the amount we raised and would like to thank everyone who joined me on the bike ride, runs and walk. I hope the money makes a real difference to future patients at West Suffolk Hospital.”
Ian is a founder member of St Edmunds’ Wheel cycle club so found his first challenge, a 130 mile cycle ride to Holt and back with 21 friends, fairly easy. But he followed that with two five mile runs, at Haughley Park and Nowton Park, and the 25 mile Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
After the three peaks he said: “As the challenges went on they got more challenging. I’d trained for it but I hadn’t given a thought for how tough it would be. It’s all rocks up and down.”
Even worse, on the day they did it there was a diversion to get off the first peak which added three miles to it. Of the 14 fit friends who started it only Ian and eight others finished.
But his final fund raiser was a lot easier — he held a charity auction at his 60th birthday party on July 28.
Patricia Davis, the hospital’s head of midwifery and general manager, said: “We would like to thank Ian and everybody who donated so generously for their help in purchasing these important pieces of equipment to benefit premature and new-born babies in the future.”