Isle dad strides out for sick babies

Zoe Payne, 8, from Crowle.
Zoe Payne, 8, from Crowle.

A determined Isle dad will attempt the Yorkshire Three Peaks this week, to help youngsters who, like his daughter Zoe, suffer from heart conditions.

Rob Payne, of Crowle, will join a group calling themselves the Tiny Trekkers on the 25-mile hike and climb on May 17.

He is raising money for a charity supporting research and training to help early diagnosis of babies born with congenital heart defects, as early diagnosis is crucial to their survival.

Rob, 40, and wife Louise’s daughter Zoe, aged eight, was delivered in the specialist unit at Leeds General Infirmary after it was discovered she had heart defects. She underwent major heart surgery at eight days old and went home after almost two months.

Mum Louise said: “She only had a blood supply to one arm, and not to her head or the rest of her body.

“It is so important that detection of congenital heart defects is improved to ensure that every affected child gets access to specialist treatment as quickly as possible - this is what the charity Tiny Tickers is set up to do.”

Zoe, described by her mum as a “determined, brave and exasperating little gremlin” has complex health needs, is in the care of three hospitals and a children’s hospice. She is doing much better than was initially expected, said her mum, but will need further specialist treatment.

The chief executive of Tiny Tickers and Tiny Trekkers is Jon Arnold, whose daughter, also called Zoe is a friend of Zoe Payne.

He and Rob, and the rest of the team, are grateful for any support and donations will be processed quickly and passed to Tiny Tickers through Virgin Money Giving.

About 20 people will form the trekking group that hopes to complete their challenge in 12 hours.

“It’s the first time Jon has attempted anything like this,” said Louise.

“It won’t be easy but they are all determined to do their best for the charity.”

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