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Couple set up epic cycling challenge in memory of their child

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On 5 June 2020, three-year-old Jude suddenly passed away unexpectedly, leaving his parents, Laura and Richard, and their family devastated.

Only 48 hours before his death, Jude was a happy and healthy little boy. Despite only spending a short time at Bristol Children’s Hospital, Laura and Richard were overwhelmed by the support and compassion they received.

On that fateful day in June, our world fell apart. Jude was such a happy, smiley little boy who was dearly loved by many.

Laura – Jude’s mum

As they left the hospital, they promised to raise as much money as possible for The Grand Appeal and put the wheels in motion to organise an epic fundraising challenge in Jude’s memory – Jogle for Jude. In just two months, the family has already raised over £21,000, exceeding their initial target of £10,000.

Jogle for Jude will see Jude’s Dad, Richard and 17 friends’ cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End. The group will set off on their 900-mile trip in May, with an aim to complete the challenge in just nine days, averaging 100 miles a day. They decided to finish in Land’s End so that Jude’s six-year-old brother Tobias can join them for the last few miles and cross the finish line, surrounded by family and friends.

Jude with Laura in happier times

Jude’s mum, Laura, told us: “There is no rhyme or reason for what happened, but what we do know is that we will never forget the care and compassion we received from all the staff we met at Bristol Children’s Hospital – we have complete admiration for them.

“Although our hospital stay was short-lived, there are so many sick children and families that rely on the hospital and charity’s support for months on end. As we left the hospital after Jude slipped away, Richard promised the consultant we would raise a shed load of money for them – and now, we are dedicated to doing exactly that.”

In June, Jude complained of a stomach ache and after a night of sickness he was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset. An abdominal scan confirmed that part of his bowel had died off, and he was immediately rushed into theatre for emergency surgery.

A transfer team waited for Jude to come out of surgery before rushing him to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital. For the next 24 hours, Jude fought for his life but devastatingly he was not able to pull through.

Laura and Richard are eternally grateful for the support of all the staff at the hospital and the final moment they had with Jude in the hospital’s dedicated Rainbow Room – a space we funded in the hospital so families can spend their last moments with their child in a comforting and private environment.

To support Richard and Laura and the Jogle for Jude team, please visit their website or make a donation.

Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day is back on Friday 21 June.