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A police officer from the Isle of Wight is pedalling over 120 miles to help save and support the lives of premature babies.
PC Dave Cooper and his wife Lisa became the parents of twin boys, Tom and Ethan, who were born 16 weeks’ premature on January 22, 2010.
After a week at the Queen Alexandra Hospital Neonatal Unit in Portsmouth, they were both transferred to the Princess Anne Neonatal Unit in Southampton for surgery.
The twin boys were very ill and Tom sadly passed away on February 12, 2010.
PC Dave Cooper of the East Cowes Safer Neighbourhoods team said:
"With the unbelievable support of family, friends, nurses, doctors and consultants on both the island and mainland, we managed to find the mental and physical strength to carry on for our son Ethan.
"Despite numerous health setbacks and emergency trips back to neonatal units on the island and mainland, Ethan has pulled through and his ongoing progress has been remarkable. Staff at the hospitals have been nothing short of amazing."
To say thank you, PC Cooper and Isle of Wight Police Custody Sergeant Simon Morgan are fundraising for the hospitals by taking part in a 120-mile bike ride, the Tour of the Black Mountains in Wales, on Sunday July 10th 2011.
PC Dave Cooper added:
"This is a cause close to my heart and I want to support fundraising for other families who find themselves in these situations. The Princess Anne Neonatal Unit in Southampton is trying to raise money for another family unit, and St Mary’s Hospital in Newport on the Isle of Wight has similar projects through the Barely Born Appeal www.barelyborn.co.uk
"The Black Mountains Tour is one of the toughest one-day cycling sporting events in the UK. Simon and I will be climbing over 4,000 meters during the ride. I hope our efforts can inspire others to help us support the incredible work of hospital staff to save the lives of premature babies."
Donations and sponsorship can be given by visiting PC Dave Cooper's ‘Just Giving' web pages.
http://www.justgiving.com/Dave-Cooper1 (Isle of Wight)
For more information about the race, go to www.touroftheblackmountains.com