'Absolutely amazing' - Visually impaired teen completes walking challenge

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Ryan after completing the walking challenge with his mum and dad. - Credit: Jasper King

A visually impaired teen has gone the extra mile by completing a gruelling walking challenge all in aid of the hospital department looking after him.

Ryan, 15, had a difficult start to life after being born at just 24 weeks old after his mum Ann had Hellp Syndrome, a pregnancy complication that affects the blood and liver.

Since moving to Lowestoft from Watford in October, Ryan has been treated by the NHS ophthalmology department at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH).

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Ryan took part in the walk despite the miserable weather. - Credit: Jasper King

Despite the weather, he took on the gruelling walk today with his mum and dad from Kirkley to JPUH and has raised £1,600 for the ophthalmology department.

Crossing the finishing line, Ryan said: "I am very pleased I crossed the finish line.


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"It was very challenging. The weather was very windy especially at the Denes but I was happy we managed to do it in the wind and rain.

"I am really grateful for all of the support I have received as well, it has been absolutely amazing."

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Ryan completed the walk with his mum and dad by his side. - Credit: Jasper King

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Ryan was inspired to do the walk from the late Sir Captain Tom Moore.

He said: "He is a huge inspiration for me and he is sadly missed."

Ryan and his mum and dad completed the walk in under four hours.

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Ryan's parents expressed how proud they were of him. - Credit: Jasper King

They started out at Kirkley promenade and passed points such as Lowestoft bridge and Ness Point, through Corton, along the cliffs, through Hopton, eventually into Gorleston and then finishing with a round of applause outside James Paget's eye clinic department.

Members of staff were there to congratulate Ryan at the end of the walk but his proudest advocates of all were his parents.

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It was an emotional day for Ryan and his family. - Credit: Jasper King

His mum Ann Reid said: "I'm so proud of him and I'm overwhelmed as well.

"He has been so good the whole way through it all and he has so much energy.

"It was terrible weather but this didn't bother him at all.

"He is a little fighter and he has been ever since he was a baby. This walk has given him even more strength now because he knew what he was doing it for.

"The money Ryan raised was more than we hoped for so we are all beyond proud."

Ryan's charity page can be found here.

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