From Northampton to Paris: Team of friends set to pedal 340 miles in memory of captain's little boy

Rob Crussell (pictured bottom left) will be taking on a 340-cycling bike tour to Paris.
Rob Crussell (pictured bottom left) will be taking on a 340-cycling bike tour to Paris.

A team of 10 friends are taking on a four-day bike ride from Northampton to Paris in memory of their captain's little boy.

Robert Crussell and his team have pledged to cycle 340 miles from Northampton General Hospital to the Eiffel Tower to raise money for a life-saving piece of equipment for newborn babies.

Rob and Kate lost their baby boy Theo to complications during his birth. He was just a day old.

Rob and Kate lost their baby boy Theo to complications during his birth. He was just a day old.

The intercontinental challenge comes after Rob and his wife Kate lost his son Theo to a massive brain injury brought on by complications in his delivery in 2015. He was just a day old.

Rob, 36, from Northampton, said: "I feel quite driven to keep his memory alive.

"I promised Theo when we said goodbye that we would raise as much money and awareness of the disease that robbed him of his life."

Since 2015, Rob, Kate and a long list of family and friends have raised over £30,000 together through their website 4Theo.co.uk.

Rob will be joined by nine of his friends in their drive to raise 13,000 for Northampton General Hospital.

Rob will be joined by nine of his friends in their drive to raise 13,000 for Northampton General Hospital.

Late into Kate's pregnancy, she suffered a serious complication called pre-eclampsia that caused oxygen to be cut off from Theo and led to a brain injury. It also put Kate's life at risk and led to her recovering in hospital for over a week.

But now, Rob and his friends are pedalling from Northampton General Hospital to the Eiffel Tower to show their thanks to the hospital that helped spend "44 precious hours" with their little boy.

He said: "We've done fundraising in the past but nothing like this. We've organised it all ourselves and we've got one last training run before we go.

"It's going to be tough pedalling four days in row. We're facing 88 miles on the first day and 100 on the second."

They have set a fundraising goal of £13,000 to pay for specialised equipment that helps babies born with brain damage.

It will be donated to the Gosset Ward, who looked after Kate, Rob and Theo during their stay in hospital, and Rob's JustGiving page is already over £8,700 towards the target goal.

Rob and his team will set off from Northampton General Hospital at 9.30am on August 8.