Naval officer sets off from HMS Nelson for 200-mile hike for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Bristol Children's Hospital

WEEKS of vigils at his son’s hospital bed have spurred on a naval officer to complete a 200-mile hike for the charities which supported his family.

Monday, 3rd August 2020, 12:09 pm

Setting off on an epic trek from HMS Nelson to the sound of a marching band this morning was Chief Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Chris Levy and his retired colleague Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Simon Cranfield.

Chris – who is based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham - is hoping to raise more than £10,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and The Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital after experiencing the support of both charities when his son was seriously ill five years ago.

Harrison, then nine, was rushed to hospital in August 2015 for a suspected ear infection which had turned aggressive and life threatening, needing life saving surgery as meningitis soon took control and was moving towards his brain.

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Chief Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Chris Levy and his retired colleague Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Simon Cranfield set off from HMS Nelson for a 200-mile trek for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Bristol Children's Hospital. Pictured: Chris Levy with his son Harrison, 14, training for the trek

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Chris and his wife Hayley spent every day by Harrison’s side in intensive care at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, and Bristol Children’s Hospital. He said: ‘We were doing 24 hour shifts sat by his bed in hospital for a few months.

‘He’s much better now - the hospitals were fantastic. Both charities have helped us out over the years so we thought we’d give back.’

Chris, 38, and 55-year-old Simon will trek from HMS Nelson in Queen Street all the way to HMS Drake in Plymouth – the city where the pair live – which will see them complete 20 miles a day for 10 days, unaided and carrying 15kg of equipment each.

Chief Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Chris Levy and his retired colleague Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Simon Cranfield set off from HMS Nelson for a 200-mile trek for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Bristol Children's Hospital. Pictured: Harrison Levy in hospital in 2015

Harrison, now 14, will be joining the pair for the final two days, seeing him complete around 28 miles altogether which will show how far he has come in the last five years, due to more than 40 operations and plenty of support.

With £4,000 already raised towards the £10,000 target, Chris said: ‘We have set it high to see how far we can push it but anything we raise will be a bonus anyway.

‘Both charities are really struggling at the moment because very few people are doing fundraising. Both charities have taken a massive hit so I’m hoping this will help.’

Chief Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Chris Levy and his retired colleague Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Simon Cranfield set off from HMS Nelson for a 200-mile trek for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Bristol Children's Hospital. Pictured: Chris Levy and Simon Cranfield setting off

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Chief Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Chris Levy and his retired colleague Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Simon Cranfield set off from HMS Nelson for a 200-mile trek for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Bristol Children's Hospital. Pictured: Chris Levy and Simon Cranfield about to set off with a marching band seeing them off

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