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Father cycles 150 miles to raise money for daughter’s life-changing operation

PUBLISHED: 13:46 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:51 09 October 2018

Steve Sharrocks and daughter Harper at Pride Park after the bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks family

Steve Sharrocks and daughter Harper at Pride Park after the bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks family

Sharrocks family

A Norwich father took to two wheels for the first time in 10 years last week to help fund a life-changing operation for his two-year-old daughter.

Steve Sharrocks and daughter Harper after the bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks familySteve Sharrocks and daughter Harper after the bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks family

Little Harper Sharrocks was born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on September 1, 2016.

But her umbilical cord was knotted, starving her brain of oxygen, in a one-in-40,000 chance condition called True Knot.

She was later diagnosed with severe hypoglycaemia, hyperinsulinism and cerebral palsy and would spend seven weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

And part of her brain had not formed properly due to the lack of oxygen.

Steve Sharrocks and Danny Shafiyan before their bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks familySteve Sharrocks and Danny Shafiyan before their bike ride. Photo: Sharrocks family

Her parents, Steve and Natasha Sharrocks, of Lone Barn Road, Norwich, were told she would probably never walk unaided.

An operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) could mean she takes her first steps, but it is not available on the NHS until she turns four, prompting Mr and Mrs Sharrocks to look abroad and launch an £80,000 fundraising big to get to America for treatment.

And Mr Sharrocks’ latest contribution to the total saw him cycle from Carrow Road to Pride Park Stadium, the home ground of Derby County who he supports, when the team faced Norwich City on October 3.

He was joined by his brother-in-law Danny Shafiyan.

Mr Sharrocks said that for around 35 miles they were battling with 20mph winds.

“That was quite difficult,” he said.

So far £2,800 had been raised from the ride, but donations were still coming.

And he said although many donations came from family and friends, both football clubs had got involved too.

“A lot of Norwich fans were donating as well as Derby fans,” he said. “It was great of them to get behind us.”

Prior to the ride Mr Sharrocks said his daughter’s struggle was underlined at a birthday party for a boy around her age.

He said while the little boy was able to get up and run around, Harper could not, with both children equally confused.

He said: “You can see in her eyes. He was trying to pull her up and he couldn’t understand, you could see between the two of them trying to understand it because she loves other children and she wants to start walking. It’s heartbreaking.”

Donations can still be made by clicking here.

• To keep up to date with health news in Norfolk and Waveney follow the EDP’s health correspondent on Facebook.

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