A GRATEFUL dad and his pals pedalled 450 miles from Sheffield to Paris to raise money for the hospital which saved his two sons.
Jon Wheat, aged 33, from Beauchief, set out from the Jessop Wing maternity hospital with brother Phil and close friend Jeff Breckon.
Six days later - after several punctures, a new wheel and with very tired legs - they rolled triumphantly into Paris.
Jon was inspired to raise money for the Jessop Wing after both his sons were coaxed through very difficult starts in their lives.
His first son Zachary was born premature at 31 weeks and spent 26 days in the hospital’s special care baby unit before he was allowed home.
Jon and his wife Elisabeth thought that was their last experience of the neonatal care team but three years later they were back.
Their second son Theo was born extremely premature at 26 weeks in April 2011, weighing a tiny 2lb 10oz.
He was so small he had to remain in the special care baby unit for 65 days, while the hospital’s specialists made sure he stayed alive.
But now, aged 15 months, he is thriving.
Jon said: “We are completely indebted to the excellent, professional care provided by the doctors, nurses and support staff for our sons’ survival and continuing good health.
“Theo’s stay in hospital was at times terrifying for us, particularly on the number of occasions he stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated.
“We are very lucky that Theo and Zachary are now happy, healthy boys.”
The trio have raised more than £3,300 for the Jessop Wing’s special care baby unit so far but are still accepting donations.
n To support their drive to help babies like Theo and Zachary, log on to www.justgiving.com/sheffield2paris