Family's tragic loss inspires charity bike ride

A Wigan man has raised money for the medics who tried to save his father.

Ben Abbott wanted to show his appreciation to everyone who cared for his dad who passed away in the Intensive Care Unit of Wigan Infirmary late last year, so set about arranging a bike ride to raise money in his memory.

Ben Abbott (third from the right) with family and friends before the bike ride

Ben Abbott (third from the right) with family and friends before the bike ride

The Whelley 33-year-old, alongside 12 of his family and friends, many of whom had not cycled before, set off from Wigan’s DW Stadium to Heaton Bridge in Southport.

The ride took around six hours to complete, with Ben leading the way, back in August.

“I love cycling and have cycled this route before, so I thought what better way to raise money while doing it,” said Ben.

In total, £1,600 was raised by family, friends and a local pub, who generously donated £200 alone, for the bike ride.

Staff nurse Elsa Martins, with the new CPAP machine

Staff nurse Elsa Martins, with the new CPAP machine

And Ben and his two brothers also donated the money that was given at their father’s funeral to Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s Coronary Care and Intensive Care Unit.

Carolyn Dereszkiewicz, medicine divisional director of nursing at WWL, said: “What Ben has achieved is incredible!

“We are so very grateful for the amount of money he has raised with the support of his family and friends.

“The money raised will help both our Coronary Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit and will benefit our patients greatly.”

The money raised will go towards a new CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which applies air pressure into the patient, to keep the airways continuously open, and will also provide toiletries for patients on Wigan Infirmary’s Intensive Care Unit.

“Wigan Hospital were the best with my dad, I can’t thank them enough, they were brilliant,” added Ben.