A DURRINGTON father will pay tribute to the memory of his son by cycling 75 miles for charity.
Olly Rowland was sadly stillborn in January, last year, after his mother, Maria Rowland, went into labour prematurely.
She nearly died as a result of a placenta abruption, but was saved by quick-thinking staff at Worthing Hospital.
Olly’s father, Carl Rowland, of Shelby Road, said the loss of his baby son was a “devastation” he would never want another family to go through.
Now, to pay tribute to Olly’s memory, Carl and his best friend Gareth Chapman will cycle 75 miles for charity.
They will be cycling in a bid to raise funds for Sands, a charity which offers support to families whose children have died during pregnancy.
Carl, 33, said: “When he was born I prayed for him to cry, for it to be a mistake. All we heard was silence. Then my wife, who was barely conscious, called out to hold her son.
“Having a child stillborn is a devastation I would never want another family to experience.
“Hopefully, by raising money for Sands, it’s something one family will not have to go through.”
Carl will cycle from Durrington children’s cemetery, where Olly’s grave is, to Petersfield, Midhurst, Bognor, Chichester, Littlehampton and back to Worthing.
The ride takes place on June 18, and, to get ready for it, Carl and Gareth have been preparing with three 20-mile rides a week.
Carl, who has three children, including a nine-week-old baby boy, Eli, hopes between them they can raise £2,000.
He added: “I hope the money will help towards research to help stop other parents having to go through something like this, or maybe it will help Sands to continue supporting other families in whatever way they need and to spread awareness of what is still a taboo subject that no-one wants to talk or think about.”
To sponsor Carl, visit his Justgiving website page at www.justgiving.com/carl-rowland.