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Dad to cycle 100 miles for premature baby charity

PUBLISHED: 14:00 29 April 2018

Tiny Harry Branigan after he was born 14 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of Ross Branigan

Tiny Harry Branigan after he was born 14 weeks early. Picture: Courtesy of Ross Branigan

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A worker from Great Yarmouth is riding 100 miles to raise money for a premature baby charity following his experience when his son was born at just 26 weeks.

Harry Branigan, celebrating his first birthday last month. Picture: Courtesy of Ross BraniganHarry Branigan, celebrating his first birthday last month. Picture: Courtesy of Ross Branigan

Ross Branigan, from Wymondham, works for Great Yarmouth-based 3sun Group as a financial controller.

His colleagues at the company have helped fundraise more than his target of £500 for the cycle, which will see him travel from London to Surrey in the Prudential Ride London 100-mile event in July.

Mr Branigan’s son, Harry, was born on March 14, 2017 at 26 weeks, 14 weeks before his due date, weighing a tiny 1lb 12ozs.

The shock of such a premature birth was made worse when doctors told the family that Harry only had a 77% chance of survival.

The Branigan family, which includes Mr Branigan’s wife, Georgina, and daughter, Mollie, were supported by Bliss, a charity which champions the right for every baby born premature or sick to receive the best care, throughout their hospital experience.

Harry spent 126 days in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being allowed to go home with his parents in July, four months after he was born and still requiring medical supervision.

Since then, Harry has gone from strength to strength and celebrated his first birthday last night, with Mr Branigan saying that he is “doing extremely well.”

The cycle will mark the year anniversary of Harry coming home to the Branigan household, with the father taking to two wheels to raise money for the charity.

Mr Branigan said: ““Throughout Harry’s stay in the NICU the charity Bliss were extremely helpful in their support for myself, my wife, my daughter and, more importantly, for Harry.

“Bliss exists to give every baby born premature or sick in the UK the best chance of survival and quality of life.

He added: “They champion the right to receive the best care by supporting families, campaigning for change and supporting professionals, and enabling life-changing research.”

Mr Branigan has already beaten his fundraising target of £500 on his JustGiving page, and is aiming to raise even more.

You can support his efforts by donating to his appeal here.

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