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Richmond girl's heart surgery inspires charity cycle ride
4:43pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
A CHARITY bike ride is due to take place in North Yorkshire, inspired by a little girl who underwent major heart surgery.
Gemma Orchard’s daughter, Madeleine, underwent nine hours of surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital at 12 months old to correct three holes in her heart and create a missing heart valve.
Madeleine is now a happy, healthy two-year-old and her parents have helped organised a charity bike ride from Richmond this weekend to raise money for the children’s heart unit at Newcastle Freeman Hospital.
Her mother, who lives in Richmond and is a teacher at Parkside Sports College in Willington, County Durham, said: “After the surgery she was off all her major medicines within 24 hours and was home in seven days.
“My husband and I hadn’t realised how poorly she was with it because she always seemed to have lots of energy before the operation. But now she’s bounced back there’s no containing her. She’s so full of energy.
“My husband cycles with Colomba (CORRECT) Cycle Club in Richmond. This is the first cycle race we’ve done for the heart unit. But we had to close entries at 309 and we’ve had another 30-odd wanting to register on the day.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. We’re hoping to raise as much money as possible for the unit.”
The 66-mile course will begin at Richmond Cricket Club on Saturday morning (March 16) and take in a course around the Yorkshire Dales, taking in part of next year’s Tour de France route.