A grateful dad from Birmingham has used pedal power to become this week’s charity champion after taking on a 50 kilometre mountain bike challenge and raising £1,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Stu Raybould, 28, from Brierley Hill, took on the Snowdonia MTB (Mountain Terrain Bike) challenge, battling steep Welsh mountain tracks and working his way through the scenic national park to say thank you to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for saving both his, and his baby daughter’s life.

When Stu was a child, doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital successfully treated him for a congenital heart condition called coarctation of the aorta, which meant that his aorta was narrower than it should have been, preventing blood from flowing around his heart properly. A procedure corrected the issue and Stu went on to live a normal and healthy life, but when his wife, Emily, fell pregnant, they both knew there was a chance their unborn baby could have a similar, hereditary heart condition

Stu and Emily kept their fingers crossed in the hope that they may just have got lucky but a scan at week 34 of their pregnancy gave them the news they were dreading. Their unborn baby girl, Ada, had multiple Ventricular Septal Defects, a condition which means there are holes in the wall that separates the ventricles of the heart, allowing blood that should be being pumped into the aorta, to leak between the ventricles. Stu and Emily were devastated, but Stu’s own experience at Birmingham Children’s Hospital gave them the hope that Ada would be okay.

When Ada reached three-months-old, Stu and Emily took her to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for what they thought would be a straight forward appointment to plan her course of treatment. However, upon examining Ada, doctors delivered the shocking news that she urgently needed emergency surgery, there and then. Ada was whisked away to theatre where surgeons fitted a Pulmonary Band to control the blood flow to her little lungs.

After a successful procedure, Ada returned to the hospital’s cardiac ward to recover and even though her appointment turned into a two-week stay, Stu and Emily were blown away by the excellent care provided by the doctors and nurses.

Now, at the age of two, Ada is doing well and although she will need a further operation in the future to repair the holes in her heart, Stu will be forever grateful for the quick actions of the hospital’s surgeons.

Stu said: “I’m so thankful for the care that I received at the hospital as a child, but it doesn’t even come close to how grateful I am to the doctors and nurses for looking after my daughter. The news that she needed such an urgent operation absolutely floored me and my wife but I knew that she was in the safest hands. After Ada recovered, I just wanted to do something to really show my appreciation for this fantastic hospital.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “After his own health complaint, Stu must have been devastated to find out that his daughter also had a heart condition, but to use both of his experiences to do something so incredible for our charity is inspiring. The money Stu raised will help us do more for sick kids just like Ada and we’re so thankful.”