'Inspirational' teen sets abseiling and career challenge after memory loss

Fred Hart smiling in a hospital bed with hard hat and high-vis

16-year-old Fred Hart fell ill in March and was admitted to hospital for memory loss. - Credit: ESNEFT

A 16-year-old boy who lost his memory to a mysterious illness will abseil down Ipswich Hospital in aid of its new breast cancer centre.

Fred Hart, from Capel St Mary, fell ill in March and was admitted to hospital for memory loss.

Despite medical professionals remaining unclear as to the cause of the issue, both his mum, Claire, and step-mum, Emma, have described him as "positive."

"He still has no memory of anything before the end of March", said Emma.

Fred at the partly-built Breast Care Centre, with his mum Claire and construction workers, Brian and Archie

Fred at the new Breast Care Centre, with his mum Claire and construction workers, Brian and Archie, from Beardwell Construction - Credit: ESNEFT

"But he's so positive. 

"He'll ask me, 'have I been here before? or 'do I know these people?'

"He's on a massive journey of rediscovery but he's taking it all in his stride."

Following his sudden illness, Fred was admitted to Ipswich Hospital, where his room overlooked a building site. 

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Over time, he developed a fascination with the work and his family began taking him down to meet the construction workers.

"The site manager gave him a hard hat and a high-vis jacket", said Emma.

"He wore them everywhere. Even in his MRI scans.

"He said hello to them every day and wrote notes on his window saying good morning."

The building site is for the £5m centre which will bring all breast cancer services under one roof.

The work has been funded by NHS funding by ESNEFT and Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals' The Blossom Appeal. 

"Watching that building site kept him going in hospital", said his dad, Rob. 

Fred Hart writing on post-it notes stuck on the window for the builders.

Fred said hello to the builders every day and wrote notes on his window for them. - Credit: ESNEFT

"As a result, he decided to raise money for the charity."

Fred has set up a fundraiser where he has managed to amass more than £1,275 so far.

He will be taking part in the hospital's 'Extreme Abseil' challenge which takes place on July 30 and 31.

He will scale the 135ft maternity ward, where he spent much of his time in treatment.

"Originally, he planned to just raise £150", said Emma.

"When he hit the £1,000 mark, he sent me a message saying, 'oh my, that's a lot of money isn't it?'

"He is so inspirational."

Looking ahead, Fred has now set himself one primary ambition: to go to college and become a builder. 

"He's adamant he will achieve things", said Emma. 

"He doesn't let anything upset him and he knows, if things are a struggle, tomorrow is a new day.

"He's very positive about his recovery - as are we."