Norwich teenager’s epic bike ride in memory of the father he never knew

Alistair Barrows, 13, preparing to take part in the Hethersett 90 in memory of his dad, Andrew, who died of meningitis when he was two. With him is his mum, Victoria MacDonald. Picture: Denise Bradley Alistair Barrows, 13, preparing to take part in the Hethersett 90 in memory of his dad, Andrew, who died of meningitis when he was two. With him is his mum, Victoria MacDonald. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, February 22, 2014
10:57 AM

A 13-year-old from Norwich will be taking part in the Hethersett 90 bike ride in memory of his dad Andrew who died of pneumococcal meningitis when he was two-years-old.

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Alistair Barrows as a baby with his dad, Andrew.Alistair Barrows as a baby with his dad, Andrew.

Alastair Barrows, from Greenways, decided to take on the 90-mile bike ride in April to raise funds for Meningitis Research Foundation in memory of solicitor Andrew Barrows, who died aged 47.

Although Alastair, whose favourite subject at the City of Norwich School is PE, was only young when his dad died, his mum has told him the tragic story.

He said: “I don’t really remember much but my mum said my dad became ill on Christmas Day 2002. Despite a doctor coming to see him twice on Boxing Day, meningitis was not diagnosed.

“At 6am on December 27 he collapsed and was fitting. Mum began CPR but sadly he was announced dead at 8am that morning.

Alistair Barrows, aged four, with mum Victoria MacDonald, and his first bike. Alistair Barrows, aged four, with mum Victoria MacDonald, and his first bike.

Local businesswoman Victoria MacDonald said that she was “very proud” of her son.

She said: “For Alastair it has been very tough because losing his dad is not something he really knows about apart from photographs.”

Alastair, who lives with his mum, step-dad Grahame and brother Tobias, 6, hopes his support will go towards awareness of the disease.

He added: “I think my dad would be very proud of me doing it as he was always very active, so it is a good way to remember him.”

Mrs MacDonald is urging people to ask questions and raise awareness about the disease.

“It was 40 hours between Andrew getting a headache and dying,” she said.

To sponsor Alastair please visit his Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/AlastairBarrows

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