Sheffield schoolgirl makes most of Easter holidays with 71-mile bike ride to thank life-changing hospital

Lyra Pallotti. Picture: Dean Atkins.
Lyra Pallotti. Picture: Dean Atkins.
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Most seven-year-olds in Sheffield will probably have spent at least some of their Easter holidays out on their bikes and playing with friends.

But little Lyra Pallotti certainly made the most of her time off as she complete a 71-mile coast to coast bike ride to raise cash for the hospital that treated her after she was diagnosed with a hole in heart.

Lyra, of Broomhall, completed the ride from Workington before finishing at the Freeman Children's Cardiac Unit, in Newcastle, where she had surgery aged just four.

Proud mum Phoebe Pallotti said: "It was brilliant. Lyra loves cycling and she really enjoyed it.

"The second day was a bit hairy when we cycled from Cockermouth to Keswick and there was a massive storm but it was actually quite exciting."

Lyra came up with the idea herself and raised more than £1,700 for the Freeman's Children's Cardiac Unit Fund, which provides inpatient and support for children and their families while they are treated at the hospital.

Phoebe added: "Lyra was diagnosed with a hole in her heart when she was very young and it was a bit touch and go whether she would have surgery or a device fitted.

"There was talk they were going to shut the children's heart unit at Leeds at the time so we ended up going to Newcastle and the staff were amazing.

"The unit is such a welcoming and loving place for children to be and Lyra is now living like any other child so she wanted to give them something back to thank them and so that other children can have the wonderful experience that she did.

"For me, the ride was also a sense of closure too because Lyra is now fit and healthy."

Lyra started her journey with a 10-mile ride from Workington to Cockermouth on Tuesday, followed by a 13.7-mile ride from Cockermouth to Keswick on Wednesday and a gruelling 19.9-mile trip from Keswick to Penrith on Thursday.

Her granddad then gave them a much needed lift between Pentrith and Consett before she clocked up 27.4 miles on Friday, finishing the ride at the Freeman Children's Cardiac Unit - after 71 miles of pedalling in just four days.

For more information or if you would like to donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lyrapallotti.