Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Tragic loss of Billy prompts dad’s cycle ride

PUBLISHED: 13:46 21 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:32 22 July 2014

Tom Pegg is to cycle from Bury St Edmunds to Somerset to raise awareness of Group B Streptococcus

Tom Pegg is to cycle from Bury St Edmunds to Somerset to raise awareness of Group B Streptococcus

Archant

A father who lost his newborn son to a severe form of meningitis is to cycle 215 miles to raise money for the charity that is striving to educate prospective parents about the condition.

Tom Pegg, 37 and his fiancé Ursula Bradshaw, 36, were devastated when their first child, Billy, died just days after being born in March this year.

Within hours of his birth, Billy developed meningitis caused by Group B Streptococcus – also known as group B Strep or GBS.

The bacterium, which is found in around one in four women, can be passed to babies around birth and is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborns.

Neither of the couple had ever heard of group B strep before Billy contracted the condition.

Ms Bradshaw, from Culford, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “Within 24 hours of being born, Billy was fighting for his life and his prognosis got bleaker and bleaker very rapidly. It is a traumatic story of joy that quickly turned to the complete opposite.”

Mr Pegg decided to undertake a cycle ride to increase awareness of GBS and raise £2,000 for the charity Group B Strep Support, which is campaigning for a national screening programme to test expectant women for GBS so that those at risk can be given the option of intravenous antibiotics during labour.

He will set off from the Angel Hill, Bury, on August 29 on the three-day ride via central London and down to Somerset.

He said: “I wanted to do the cycle ride while it was fresh in everyone’s minds. It will focus on what we are raising money for and will hopefully enlighten people that they can request a test and have medication during the birth if they choose to.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/Billysbigcycleride to make a donation or go to gbss.org.uk for more information about GBS.

Four men from the Ukraine are facing people smuggling charges after a yacht with 19 migrants on board landed on the Suffolk coast.

A record shipment for the Port of Ipswich has reaffirmed its ranking as Britain’s number one agricultural export centre.

A motorist who jumped out of his car while it was still moving during a police car chase in Suffolk has been jailed for ten months.

Macmillan Cancer Support is sending its ‘Dougie’ bus to Notcutts garden centre in Woodbridge to offer free, specialist information for people affected by cancer, as well as those who are worried about their risk and symptoms.

A £5.5 million centre to encourage business growth, start-ups and innovative projects has celebrated its first anniversary – hosting dozens of events and sowing the seeds of new projects.

The autumn half term is approaching as quick as the leaves are falling, so make sure you’re one step ahead and get your days planned with our guide.

The Autumn festivities kick off the half term week this weekend, as the annual Holywells Apple Day and the season’s beer festival get underway.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24