Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital surgeon to embark on epic bike ride

A Norfolk surgeon is cycling more than 350 miles to raise money to buy new equipment for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Liam Hughes, an interventional cardiologist of The Loke, Wymondham, will cycle from Holland to Norwich over three days to raise money for Sparks 4 Hearts.

Dr Hughes, 58, will be joined on the mammoth cycle ride by Nathan Hunt, 34, a physiotherapist at the N&N and Robbie Bacon, 45, a self-employed builder.

Mr Hunt's brother-in-law, the BBC sports presenter Jake Humphrey, will meet the trio at the Royal Norfolk Show on Wednesday at 4pm.

Dr Hughes said: 'We are leaving Leiden in Holland early on Monday. It is the birthplace of the first ECG in the world. We are trying to raise money for the new electrical treatment so we can offer it in Norfolk.'

Sparks 4 Hearts needs to raise �400,000. At the moment, their fundraising has gathered more than �200,000.

The appeal was launched by the Norfolk Heart Trust to raise the �400,000 to purchase equipment for the third angiography suite so the NNUH can start to offer treatment for patients with abnormal or rapid heart rhythms, rather than have them travel to Papworth Hospital more than 70 miles away.

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The new equipment would identify the short circuits in the heart which causes the rhythms.

The team will cycle for up to 12 hours a day.

Dr Hughes said: 'I am really looking forward to it. I am looking forward to the challenge. I am a bit scared about seizing up and not being able to complete it. I would be mortified if I seized up between London and Norfolk.

'People are welcome to join us to cycle the last eight miles of the journey for a fun ride from Kett's Park in Wymondham to the showground. We will leave Kett's Park at 3pm. Even if we arrive back in Norfolk early, we will still be there for the fun ride. Everyone is welcome but children must be accompanied.'

Dr Hughes previously rowed across the Atlantic and the North Sea to raise money for the appeal. To raise further funds, an auction is being held for four people to have a tour of the Lotus F1 factory. The winner of the auction will also be given a piece of the 2010 F1 car.

Anyone wishing to donated should visit www.norfolkheartrust.co.uk/donate

To bid for the auction please call 01603 287690

Are you embarking on a physical challenge for charity? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

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