Sidmouth mum cycles for hospital that saved son

Hayley Gauntlett and her son Max

Hayley Gauntlett and her son Max - Credit: Archant

A single mum from Sidmouth is cycling 100 km to raise money for the children’s hospital that helped her premature son live a normal life.

Hayley Gauntlett was told Max may never walk after he was born 14 weeks early, but the work of specialist surgeons changed everything.

Now a bright and healthy four-year-old, his mum is taking the opportunity to give something back to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“I am profoundly grateful for the skill and amazing commitment of Max’s surgeons – our lives have been totally transformed by their help,” said Hayley.

Max suffered a massive brain haemorrhage, and has had to have a ‘shunt’ fitted to drain the built-up spinal fluid.

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“Nobody had a diagnosis and he was getting progressively worse,” his mum said.

She added that the initial predictions for Max were gloomy, but his fortune changed when he reached the renowned children’s health centre.

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“When he was born we were told he wouldn’t be able to walk or feed himself, but he’s as bright as anything.

“His nursery teacher says he’s one of the top of his class,” said Hayley.

The former Moorview Close resident now lives in London and works full time as an ethical trading manager for Tesco.

It has only been since Max has started going to nursery that she has had the time to think about fundraising.

The 45-year-old has been training by cycling to work – sometimes with Max in a trailer – to prepare for the 62.5-mile Moonride from London to Cambridge.

Hayley has already exceeded her fundraising goal of £300, but is looking to double or triple the amount.

To sponsor her, visit

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