In memory of his son, Joshua, Andrew Bromwich, 43, is cycling from Birmingham to Weston-Super-Mare. He will take-on the gruelling 120-mile ride on Saturday 11 July to support Meningitis Now following the premature death of his three-year-old son.
The ride takes place on what would have been around Joshua’s 14th birthday. Andrew has chosen Weston-Super-Mare as Joshua “loved it so much” and it “holds precious memories” for the family.
“I have always loved cycling and have recently taken it up again. I have cycled from Birmingham to Bradford and various other places for leisure."
“Each year, my wife's church organises a trip to Weston-Super-Mare, which happens to be around Josh's birthday. This year it again fell around his birthday and I felt this was the perfect way to remember Josh and raise money for a cause I feel so passionately about.”
Joshua passed away in 2004 after contracting pneumococcal meningitis.
“Just days before we lost him Josh went to Dudley Zoo for a friend’s birthday. He was running around and had a great time. We would never have guessed what we were about to face.”
On Monday 26 July Joshua awoke very weak with a temperature. Andrew said: “My wife, Tania, took him to A&E and by 2:00pm he was fitting and they couldn’t bring him out of this fit. Josh was intubated and placed on antibiotics before he was taken for a scan."
“Medical staff tried to release pressure off Josh’s brain but just before midnight we were told he was brain dead. We were in so much shock. How could our boy be playing one day and brain dead the next?"
“Josh was put on life support but it was too late. We turned the machines off on 27 July at 5:00pm. Post-mortem confirmed Josh had pneumococcal meningitis.”
Meningitis is the inflammation of membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It can affect anyone at any time.
Andrew added: “We found it hard when vaccinations were rolled out nationwide the autumn after Josh died but are so thankful that our three beautiful girls have had this. I can't stress to other parents how important this vaccination is.”
Meningitis Now urges people to remain vigilant of the signs and symptoms of meningitis as there is no vaccination to protect against all types of the disease. The charity works to save lives and rebuild the futures of people affected by meningitis through research, support and awareness.
“The support of fundraisers makes a huge difference. We are non-government funded and without people like Andrew, we would not be able to provide help and support to those affect by meningitis. I would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him the best of luck for the journey.”
Helen Whatmore, Community Fundraising Manager