Visually impaired teen takes on challenge to raise money for hospital


Ryan will walk from his home in Kirkley to James Paget Hospital in May. - Credit: Ann Reid

A teenager who has been visually impaired since birth is taking on the challenge of walking 8.5 miles from his home in Kirkley to James Paget University Hospital.

Ryan, 15, had a difficult start to life after being born at just 24 weeks old after his mum Ann had Hellp Syndrome, a pregnancy complication that affects the blood and liver.

Since moving to Lowestoft from Watford in October, Ryan has been treated by the NHS ophthalmology department at the JPUH.

Despite not being able to walk outside safely on his own, Ryan has been inspired by Sir Captain Tom Moore and will raise money for the NHS ophthalmology department.


Ryan has already raised £900. - Credit: Ann Reid

Ryan's mum Ann Reid said: "Ever since Ryan moved to Lowestoft he has wanted to do something to raise money after seeing Sir Captain Tom Moore on TV.

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"He had a think about who he wanted to raise money for and he decided on the ophthalmology department at the hospital as a thank you for helping him with his eyes since moving here."

Ryan was put on a ventilator because he was born without any lungs.

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The amount of time spent on the ventilator caused damage to Ryan's eyes which meant he was slowly going blind.

Ryan is now severely sight impaired after going through three lots of laser eye surgery when he was just a few months old but this has not stopped him taking on the challenge.


Ryan had a difficult start in life. - Credit: Ann Reid

Ms Reid said: "The first few years of Ryan's life were very difficult and he was struggling to stay alive. 

"He told me he is going to be very emotional when he crosses that line.

"Ryan's target for fundraising was £300 and he has already raised over £900 which is fantastic. The support he has received has been fantastic."

Ryan will take part in the 8.5 mile walk on Saturday, May 8 and will leave his house at 10am from Kirkley and aim to get to James Paget Hospital by 2pm.

You can support and donate to Ryan at his fundraising page on the hospital website here.

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