Grateful dad gets ready for marathon pedal after Rachel’s treatment

Alan Baker with his daughter Rachel.
Alan Baker with his daughter Rachel.
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A SHEFFIELD teacher is warming up for a mammoth cycling challenge to raise money for the city’s Children’s Hospital after his daughter was treated there for swine flu.

Alan Baker, head of Physics at King Edward VII School in Broomhill, will cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats over 10 days in April with two friends.

He was inspired to take on the challenge after his eight-year-old daughter Rachel was treated at Sheffield Children’s Hospital when she contracted swine flu in November 2009.

Alan, aged 37, who lives in Ecclesall with his wife Sarah and three daughters Rachel, Ellie and Bethany, said: “In November 2009 my eldest daughter Rachel contracted swine flu and then as a secondary complication developed pneumonia.

“She needed two chest drains to remove the fluid on her lung and spent her stay at the hospital on Ward M2.

“The staff on M2, the doctors, the surgeons and the respiratory team were absolutely outstanding. They were patient, caring and always knew the best thing to do.”

Rachel is back to full fitness and takes part in lots of activities, including swimming.

Alan said: “We were so impressed with her care I have been looking for a way to give something back and fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Charity seemed like the perfect way to do this.”

Alan’s training for the event has had an added bonus – he has lost two-and-a-half stone.

He will leave Sheffield with two friends on Saturday April 9.

Cheryl Ridge, fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “As a keen cyclist I know what a difficult challenge this is but it sounds like Alan and his friends have prepared well tackling the hills in Sheffield.

“I want to wish Alan and his friends all the best and say a huge thank you for their support.

n Log on to www.justgiving.com/Alan-Baker