Charity bike-ride to say thanks for ‘miracle’ baby

FOR THE LOVE OF MADELINE -- Matt Smith and fellow cyclists Wayne Farrell, Steve Bosworth and Matt Taylor after the charity ride

FOR THE LOVE OF MADELINE -- Matt Smith and fellow cyclists Wayne Farrell, Steve Bosworth and Matt Taylor after the charity ride

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AN ACHING father has completed a charity bike-ride of more than 300 miles in honour of the hospital staff who saved the life of his prematurely-born daughter.

The Dispatch revealed earlier this year the story of Madeline Smith, who was born 12 weeks early and wasn’t breathing when she arrived, weighing just 1lb 6oz.

FOR THE LOVE OF MADELINE -- Matt and Katie with their baby daughter after the birth

FOR THE LOVE OF MADELINE -- Matt and Katie with their baby daughter after the birth

She was dubbed a “miracle”. But her parents, Matt Smith (25) and Katie Taylor (30), of Wings Drive, Hucknall, were under no illusions that their baby girl only survived thanks to “awesome” doctors and nurses at Nottingham City Hospital.

Little Madeline, who spent weeks in hospital, is now eight months old and fighting fit.

And Matt, plus three other cyclists, have completed a five-day, 369-mile ride from Glasgow to Nottingham in aid of the hospital. They have raised more than £3,500.

Matt was joined by Katie’s brother, Matt Taylor, family friend Wayne Farrell and Steve Bosworth, of Bulwell, whose twins received treatment at the City Hospital.

They arrived back at the hospital to a rapturous reception from staff, family and friends.

The money raised will be spent on life-saving equipment

Matt said: “The ride was tough but it went well. When we were climbing through the Pennines on day two and had a tough time on day three, the thought of seeing Madeline kept me going.

“We were a bit short of our original target, but everything went brilliantly. This is just a small way of thanking the hospital and staff.

“I also want to thank everyone for their backing, especially Joe Ward, of Red Lettings in Hucknall, who provided the support vehicle, and GPS Property Management, of Ravenshead, which provided branded clothing for the ride.”

The fundraiser was also given a boost even before the bikers hit the roads — thanks to a charity night at The Empire pub and social club off Beardall Street.