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A mountainous challenge for NICU

04.08.16 Categories: Staff stories, Supporter stories

4-year-old Augie had his life saved at King’s when he was born. Augie's dad, Matt, took on the toughest physical challenge of his life to fundraise for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Matt and his family live in nearby Herne Hill so since King’s is their local hospital, Augie was born there as planned. Unfortunately though, what was meant to be a day of celebration quickly became a scary one. 

‘At birth, Augie was not breathing,’ recalls Matt. ‘A crash call went out and he was rushed to the NICU, where he was put on ventilation and expertly cared for.

‘He is now a happy and healthy 4-year-old, about to start school. Needless to say, we’re forever indebted to the hospital, the doctors and nurses who looked after him.’

Matt has also been influenced by how King’s has helped other people, and wishes to support the hospital so it can continue to give the very best care possible. 

‘Since what happened to Augie, we’ve had friends who have had similarly scary experiences and who have also received the benefit of such care from King’s,’ he says. ‘I’m now trying in my small way to help in return, by raising much-needed money for the NICU to support their efforts to treat other children.’Matt and Augie

Matt’s embarked on the big challenge of taking on the Haute Route Alps, an 800 kilometre cycle sportive from Nice to Geneva that takes place over seven days.

‘It was the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever done,’ says Matt. ‘Seven days of rising at dawn to race mountain roads with 21,000 metres of vertical gain – the equivalent of cycling up Everest two and a half times!

‘I’d known about the event for a while but thought it was beyond me to do. I’ve been inspired to take on the challenge by friends and family – and Nadiya Hussein from the Great British Bake Off! – who have all had the courage to pursue their dreams.’

Matt enjoyed the stunning scenery throughout the ride, as well as supporting the hospital that means so much to him:

‘It seems fitting to raise money for a cause very close to my heart, and to support the invaluable care which is provided on the ward for vulnerable children in their very first moments.’

You can take on any challenge, big or small, to fundraise for any part of King’s, just like Matt has. Find out more about ways you can get involved.