max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Tragic loss of baby Billy prompts dad’s 215-mile cycle challenge

17:49 21 July 2014

Tom Pegg and Ursula Bradshaw, whose son Billy died hours after he was born from severe meningitis caused by group B Strep.

Tom Pegg and Ursula Bradshaw, whose son Billy died hours after he was born from severe meningitis caused by group B Strep.


A father who lost his newborn son to a severe form of meningitis is to cycle more than 200 miles to raise money for the charity that is striving to educate prospective parents about the condition.

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

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, a recruitment consultant, added: “We are only now slowly coming to terms with our loss and can be thankful that Billy suffered no pain, and we don’t blame anyone for what has happened.

“But no-one told us we could have a test to warn about the possibility of this happening and had we known about it, we would definitely have taken the test.”

Now Mr Pegg is to undertake a cycle ride to increase awareness of GBS and to 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 in Bury on August 29 on the three-day 215-mile ride via central London and down to Somerset.

“I wanted to do the cycle ride while it was fresh in everyone’s minds,” Mr Pegg continued.

“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.”

He will be joined on parts of the ride by friends, and has been overwhelmed by the support of family members including Billy’s grandfather, James Bradshaw.

Mr Pegg added: “Cycling is really catching on in the UK but 215 miles is still a big undertaking - I have been very surprised by the level of support.

“I set out with a target of £2,000 which has already been exceeded by £400 and I hope to be able to raise even more.”

Visit to make a donation or go to for more information about GBS.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Kieron Dyer shocked fans tonight when he quit ITV programme I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here’, before making a U-turn decision.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons, London. PA Wire

Families receiving tax credits and bobbies on the beat were given a reprieve as the chancellor moved to quieten his critics with an unexpected cuts U-turn.

Two people were taken to Colchester General Hospital for further treatment

An elderly man had to be freed from his vehicle by fire crews in Wix, near Manningtree, this evening after a collision on the A120.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Nick Alston, Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, pictured with Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh. Picture: Su Anderson.

Police chiefs in Essex gave a cautious welcome yesterday to the Chancellor’s announcement there would be no further cuts to policing.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Police enforced a cordon at around 3pm

Two suspected unexploded mortars and ammunition, found in a building site in Colchester, saw a 100m cordon enforced in Mersea Road afternoon.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24