A man has gone to great lengths to show his support for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity by growing out his hair and then having his luscious locks cut, raising over £4,300 to do more for the hospital’s sick kids.

The fundraiser was a long time coming for 25-year-old Billy Hewitt, from Cannock, who had been growing his hair out for the past two years, after the hospital saved his cousin, Finn’s, life.

Finn has always been more like a younger brother to Billy, so when he suffered a catastrophic brain haemorrhage at the age of 12 in 2017, Billy was devastated. Finn had been sent home from school with what he thought was a sickness bug, but when he didn’t get better his parents decided it was time to go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he could be checked properly. That’s when they received his shocking diagnosis.

Finn underwent emergency surgery to drain the blood from the haemorrhage and insert tiny coils into his brain which would help to stem the bleed. To this day the underlying cause of Finn’s haemorrhage is unknown, but thanks to the quick diagnosis, treatment and skills of the doctors and surgeons who treated him, Finn made a complete recovery.

A couple of years later, still feeling indebted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for his little cousin’s incredible life-saving care, Billy began growing his hair to raise money for the hospital’s charity. In a bid to encourage his friends to donate, Billy, who is a fervent Wolves fan, even promised to wear a Baggies football shirt if he raised more than £1,500.

After two years of tedious growing, Billy’s hair was past his shoulders and he was ready to face the chop, pledging to donate the offcuts to a charity that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair.

Billy said: “When Finn had his haemorrhage we genuinely didn’t know if he would make it, or how he would be affected long-term, but he’s still here with us, completely recovered and even learning to drive like any other 17-year-old, and it’s all thanks to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“I’m pleased to be back to my usual skin fade haircut, after growing it for two years, but I’m even happier to have raised so much for the hospital. Everyone has been so generous, including my boss, Andy, at Staffordshire Crane Hire, who match-funded some of my donations to help raise my total.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Billy raised a staggering amount for us and his persistence and commitment to growing his new do was inspiring. We’re so glad Finn made such an incredible recovery and we’re so grateful for these funds raised in his honour, which will help us support other children and young people just like him.”