A 10-year-old boy is celebrating reaching his fundraising goal after pledging to walk a mile every day for five days and raising over £1310 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he is a patient.

It’s a major achievement for Lewis Tarbuck, from Penkridge, who has an Autistic Spectrum Condition and suffers from low muscle tone, so consequently walks on his tiptoes, making it very uncomfortable for him to walk long distances. Nonetheless, he was determined to put his best foot forward to do more for the sick kids at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where he’s been treated his whole life.

Lewis was born extremely premature, by emergency c-section, after his mum, Vicki, suffered pre-eclampsia just 25-weeks into her pregnancy. Weighing in at a tiny 1lb 3oz, doctors weren’t sure if he’d survive and he faced numerous conditions and complications as a result, including a hole in his heart.

The first 19 weeks of Lewis’s life were spent in hospital and, at just four-weeks-old, he underwent major heart surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Thankfully, tiny Lewis recovered well, but that was only the start of his journey, with eight more operations in the following years, including one for a hernia, and laser eye surgery, as well as much occupational and speech therapy to aid his development.

Ten years on, Lewis is doing incredibly and never lets his difficult start to life hold him back. Knowing only too well how much the hospital has helped him already in his short life, Lewis asked his mum if he could do something to help the other children the hospital cares for. He wanted to raise money to help pay for some new toys to keep them occupied while they wait for their appointments.

Touched by her son’s thoughtfulness, Vicki set up a fundraising page in Lewis’s name, and suggested that while they were on holiday visiting his nan in Plymouth, he could earn sponsorship by walking at least one mile every day. It was a difficult challenge given Lewis’s condition but with his focus set on a modest target of £40 he got to it, some days even exceeding the distance.

Vicki said: “There were so many unknowns when Lewis was born, it was a scary time but he very quickly showed us that he’s a fighter! I’m so proud of everything he’s achieved so far, including his walking challenge, and the huge amount he raised doing it. He’s over the moon to have been able to give something back too.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Lewis is such a determined young man and after everything he’s been through and the struggles he’s faced, we’re so grateful and touched that he chose to take on such a challenging fundraiser for us.

“Lewis smashed his fundraising target and the incredible funds he’s raised will go on to help us support the 90,000 sick kids our hospital treats every year. He’s such an inspiration.”