Riding the Wight to help little Joey

By Chris Cornford Apr 12, 2021

The godfather of three-year-old Joey Stead, whose family have been raising £7,000 for a private operation to free him from ‘constant pain and suffering’, has done his bit for the cause with a charity cycle ride around the Island.

As previously reported, Joey, from Lake, was born to Charlotte and Barrie after a traumatic 72-hour delivery which left him with septicaemia and other health issues.
He suffered his first seizure aged six months, and tests confirmed he had brain damage and several other problems including left-sided hypotonia, a term for decreased muscle tone.
Because of a delay in surgery due to the pandemic, Charlotte and Barrie set up a fund-raising page to raise the money for an urgent grommet operation which will stop Joey’s recurring middle-ear infections and will also include having his tonsils and adenoids removed to help aid his problems.

On Saturday, his godfather, Karl Butcher, a close friend of dad Barrie, cycled around the Island with three of his Westridge Garage, Ryde, workmates (Steve Stuch, Paul Price and James Winkles) to raise £1,400. Karl, a vehicle technician, said: “We started at 9am and followed the randonee cycle route clockwise around the Island.
“Barrie joined us for the first part of the ride from Westridge to Yarbridge but was just riding to support us part of the way.

“The first part of the route on this side of the Island was fine and it was quite sunny, but once we hit Compton and Freshwater on the west side it was really windy and a bit of a struggle.
“James then had to drop out, when the crank on his bike broke as we approached Shalfleet Garage, so it was down to the three of us to complete the ride. We had a support van from MBJ Motor Factors which had a variety of tools, but there was nothing we could do to replace the crank.

“We’re not really cyclists so there were a couple of times when I thought was it worth it but, obviously, it was. It took us seven-and-a-half hours to complete the ride and there were some stiff bodies on Sunday!”

The £7,000 for the operation has now been raised, but Joey’s parents have said anything left over will be donated to local charities.