Seven Kings High School teacher to cycle to Paris for liver disease charity
PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:29 23 February 2015
A dad is set to cycle to Paris for charity after his newborn baby was diagnosed with a rare liver disease.
Science teacher Richard Wheadon, 31, from Redbridge, is embarking on the four-day challenge after 8-month-old Mali was diagnosed with biliary atresia – a condition where inflammation develops within the bile ducts in and around the liver.
The cycle for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation comes after Mali was diagnosed three weeks after being born when her jaundice failed to clear up.
A six-week-old Mali underwent an operation to create new bile ducts in her intestines, but the procedure didn’t work, with Mali becoming more jaundiced.
In October, Mali was listed as a priority for a liver transplant when her condition deteriorated.
Richard and wife Ceri were “relieved” when a donor turned up after just 12 days on a waiting list.
Mali returned home in December in time for her first Christmas following a successful transplant.
Richard, who teaches at Seven Kings High School, said: “The information the charity gave us was really helpful. We contacted their helpline while we were living in Kings Hospital in south London, where Mali was being treated, and they came once every two weeks to see how everything was going, which was great too.”
He added: “No one really know how it [the disease] happens but they’re doing some really important research.”
Richard, who has already raised more than £1,000, spoke of the shock after finding out about Mali’s condition.
He said: “We didn’t know how bad it was – it took a while for it all to set in, eventually we needed someone to die for Mali to have a chance. The waiting was certainly the hardest thing, we were just relieved when we found a donor.”
He added: “Mali’s doing great, she’s a really happy baby – she’s doing normal things now. You just forget everything she went through because she’s so normal.”
To donate text MALI78 plus an amount to 70070 or visit justgiving.com/mali-wheadon
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