Vet dad to run, bike, canoe and swim around Norfolk in thanks for baby son’s life

Vet Tom Hume with his six-year-old son Henry. Tom is planning run, swim, bike and canoe around Norfo

Vet Tom Hume with his six-year-old son Henry. Tom is planning run, swim, bike and canoe around Norfolk to thank the team who saved Henry's life when he was an infant. Picture: Supplied by NNUH - Credit: Archant

A father of a six-year-old boy is taking on a formidable challenge to raise money for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where his son spent the first week of his life.

Henry Hume was born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in March 2013 following what had been a routine pregnancy for mum Justina and dad Tom as they waited for the birth of their first child.

However, things took an unexpected turn for the worse and baby Henry was rushed to NICU with persistent pulmonary hypertension which is a failure of the normal circulatory transition that occurs after birth.

Now, Mr Hume, from Thurning, near Briston, and his business partner Toby Morrell plan to run, cycle, swim and canoe about 250 miles starting on July 11 to raise money for the NICU.

Mr Hume, a vet who works at the Westover practice in North Walsham, said: "In layman's terms, Henry's lungs hadn't inflated so his blood kept choosing the easy route, through the hole in the heart that all babies are born with, but in the process it was bypassing the lungs and circulating around his body without being re-oxygenated.

"The NICU team were incredible, there were five of them crowded around this tiny baby. He was too small to get intravenous access via his arms so they had to cannulate his umbilical vessels to establish IV access.

"Ever since that day I have wanted to raise money for NICU to show my appreciation for such an incredible service and also to try and help their resources and enable them to help others."

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Starting from North Walsham, the pair will run seven miles to Aylsham before swimming eight miles of the River Bure to Coltishall where they will camp for the night.

The fundraiser will then take them to Coltishall, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and Stiffkey by foot, bike and canoe before returning to North Walsham.

Mr Hume said: "The biggest challenge in training has been getting enough time to get the miles in. I have come to the conclusion that it will be 'all right on the night' and that my memories of Henry's battle to survive will be all the motivation I need to keep my moving."

To sponsor the pair, visit