Son inspires Thetford doctor to run for charity

A Thetford GP has swapped his thermometer for his trainers to raise money for charity following the premature birth of his son.

Matt Piccaver, GP partner at the Grove Lane Surgery in Thetford, will take part in a 10km obstacle course, in the dark, to raise money for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.

It follows the birth of his son, Edward “Teddy” Piccaver, just over a year ago.

Little Teddy was born five weeks early at the Cambridge hospital and was in a special care unit for two months with difficulties breathing and going to the toilet. At one point doctor’s suspected he may have Down’s Syndrome, although this turned out not to be the case.

Dr Piccaver, 33, from Isleham, near Mildenhall, will compete in the Legends of Sherwood, 10km night run through the forest which incorporates various obstacles along the way, in March.

He said: “In case this is the only life we get I wanted to do something to leave a me-shaped hole in the planet better than when I started.

“So many people don’t care about other people any more and we often compare people’s differences rather than the stuff that unites us. I just wanted to make a difference and try my best.

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“I’m a really slow runner so I would be the last person across the line in a race but I thought this would be a bit of fun and wouldn’t be full of hard-core skinny athletes.

“Some people are bu ilt for speed and I’m not - I’m built for heavy lifting.”

He will take part in the event with a friend, John Nolan, whose stepson, Cameron Bracken, 12, and Ben Nolan, three, spent two months each in the neo-natal unit at Addenbrooke’s.

His own son Teddy is now doing well with no lasting problems, but Dr Piccaver said his birth it was a difficult time for he and his wife, Kerry, a ward manager at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

At one point the baby stopped breathing for five minutes during a transfer to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, and had to be taken back to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

“I think because I knew what they were talking about it was more worrying,” Dr Piccaver said. “It was difficult, and it was rubbish actually.

“The first moment I walked into special care and saw his cot I felt like a clueless new dad.

“There were kids there for months and months so we were quite fortunate but I thought it would be nice to give something back.

“I really do care about people, and not because I’m paid to, and a few hundred pounds might be a step in the right direction.”

To sponsor Dr Piccaver visit his Just Giving site at