A Kingston dad-of-two has cycled the length of the UK in just nine days for the hospital that saved his daughter's life.

Iain Painting took on the 1,000 mile challenge to thank and raise money for Evelina London.

In 2019, Iain and wife Mary's daughter Amelia, 13, became seriously ill. 

Having suffered a headache and temperature, her condition deteriorated and she was rushed to an intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and encephalitis.

Surrey Comet: Iain at John O'GroatsIain at John O'Groats

The life-threatening conditions caused inflammation of the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord, as well as inflammation of the brain itself.

Having been put on mechanical ventilation, the family began to approach the situation one hour at a time.

54-year-old Iain said: “The team would talk us through everything, discuss all of the results of the tests and scans they were doing and let us know how they were hoping to save her.

“One of the biggest things for us was the sheer numbers of different people who all pulled together to care for Amelia.

Surrey Comet: Iain at Land's EndIain at Land's End

"While we were in hospital, the doctors and nurses were just incredible. They looked out for Mary, Aidan [her brother] and I almost as much as they cared for her.

“I just can’t say thank you enough.

"Amelia had a level of care that we just didn’t know existed.”

Iain completed the challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats, alongside friends Simon Potts and Andrew Munton, cycling an impressive average of 110 miles each day.

He said: “For sad middle-aged cyclists like me, it’s one of those bucket list things I’ve wanted to do for years.

Surrey Comet: Andrew, Iain and SimonAndrew, Iain and Simon

“You get to see some phenomenal sights and we met some brilliant people along the way.”

Amelia is recovering well and, following physiotherapy, will soon be back on her feet and enjoying playing sport.

The meningitis caused her to suffer hearing loss in one ear, so she has been fitted with a bone conduction device.

Dr Tammy Hedderly, consultant paediatric neurologist, said: “I’d like to wish Iain a huge thank you from myself and the rest of the team.

"We are exceptionally grateful.”

So far, Iain’s endeavour has raised almost £5,000 and donations can be made here.