A DOTING dad has set himself the challenge of cycling to each of the 20 Premier League football clubs – racking up more than 1,000 miles for the hospital that saved his daughter’s life.
Paul Yetman, from Havant, said his family was torn apart when young Nancy, three, suffered two mini strokes.
The tot complained her arm wasn’t working properly and started slurring her speech, before she was rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
She suffered high blood pressure after two of her arteries narrowed to the point blood flow to her brain and kidneys was restricted.
Eventually she was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London where surgeons lowered her blood pressure and twice operated to widen her arteries.
Nancy spent six weeks at the London hospital – and now 40-year-old Paul, together with his 28-year-old pal Rob Page – are fundraising to support medics’ life-saving efforts.
Paul, who wants to raise £5,000 for hospital equipment, said: ‘We’re forever grateful for everything the hospital did for us, they saved Nancy’s life so I want to help them save other children’s lives.
‘Doctors there managed to reduce her blood pressure – which at one point was 240, three times more than it should have been – and operate on her to widen her arteries.’
Dad-of-two Paul and his wife Katie, 34, were overwrought with emotion as Nancy battled for her life.
But caring staff at the London hospital not only comforted them – but provided birthday gifts for Nancy’s sister Saffron, nine, who celebrated her birthday while her sibling was in hospital.
Paul added: ‘While Nancy’s mum stayed in hospital with her they provided me and my daughter Saffron with accommodation so we didn’t have to travel back-and-forth.
‘It was Saffron’s birthday while Nancy was in hospital and they bought her birthday presents so she could celebrate properly.’
Pompey fan Paul and Rob will set off from Fratton Park in April. They expect to be away for two weeks and hope to collect memorabilia from each club for a charity auction they will hold after.
Katie Yetman, said: ‘I think what Paul is doing is totally amazing. It’s going to be a tough journey but I’ve got every faith in him.
‘We just want to say a big thank you to the hospital, Nancy will be on medication for the rest of her life now but the doctors really did save her.’
Young Nancy, who is medicated but leading a normal life, added: ‘I’m sad daddy won’t be here but I’m proud of him.’
After her first mini stroke in July she was sent to QA and later sent home. Then after a second incident a few days later she returned to QA, and was then sent to Southampton General Hospital, where Paul and wife Katie were told she has renovascular hypertension.
Paul added: ‘This began when we were at home in the afternoon and Nancy kept saying her arm wasn’t working, she started slurring her speech and couldn’t keep her balance.
‘We rushed her straight to hospital, panicking.
‘After the second mini stroke she spent a week in Southampton, where doctors were trying to reduce her blood pressure. The whole thing tore us apart.
‘I’m not a cyclist but I keep fit so I’m hoping that will help me, I know this will be tough but I know why I’m doing this so that will keep me going.’
The family are looking for prize donations for the raffle and auction they will hold. Paul is also hoping for a sponsor for his bike kit – in return he will put the company’s name on his T-shirt while cycling.
Visit justgiving.com/eaglewardgosh to donate