Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°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.

Archant

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.

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

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Bradley Wiggins, far left, riding through Woodbridge during the first stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain spectators will get to see champion rider Sir Bradley Wiggins racing through Suffolk again when it comes to county this month.

One of the new metal art trees in bury has been damaged. St Andrew's Street South.

A metal sculpture in a central Bury St Edmunds street now resembles a dandelion blowing in the wind following an accident involving a truck.

Police at the scene of the alleged attack.

The jury in the trial of two men accused of being involved in a plot to throw acid over a 22-year-old Suffolk beautician has retired to consider its verdicts.

Police are investigating

Further instances of vehicle crime were felt in Kesgrave on Sunday night after a car window was smashed, prompting a social media appeal for those with information to come forward.

A man has died at The Port of Felixstowe.

Investigators say their inquiries into the death of a contract worker at the Port of Felixstowe could take some time to complete.

A large farming trailer carrying potatoes has overturned on the B1102 between Freckenham and Worlington.

The B1102 in Freckenham is blocked after a trailer load of potatoes overturned.

The opening of the new petanque bowls piste at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew - Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Phillip Dunnett with parish clerk and member of the centre committee Debbi Tayler

More than 30 people turned out for the opening of a boules rink at The Riverside Centre on Saturday.

Traffic chaos caused by flooding on the A143 near Bury St Edmunds.

The final summer bank holiday of the year was a wash out, causing traffic chaos in parts of Suffolk, with roads flooding and cars getting stuck.

Photo caption: (L-R) Courtney Culf, Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Leisure, Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Ray Herring, Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Cllr Andy Smith, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Coastal Management and Peter Lanceley, Operations Manager at Suffolk Coastal Norse.

Extra play equipment costing £150,000 has been unveiled to give youngsters a late summer boost.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages