A WORKER at a Highbridge-based company has raised over £9,000 for charity.

Chris Petitt, who works at Bakkavor Desserts, rowed 500km on his rowing machine in 50 days for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal - Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.

Chris and partner Hazel were faced with a parent’s worst nightmare when their son Albie Albie developed an Enterovirus infection at only eight days old.

This led to a worrying cardiomyopathy diagnosis when his heart stopped working.

On his JustGiving page, Chris wrote: "We were told that he was unlikely to survive and that his heart was barely working.

"They would do everything they could but we should prepare ourselves for the worst.

"He was intubated and started on an insane amount of medications.

"They sat us down and said that should he deteriorate there was nothing left to try. There are no words to describe how we felt hearing this.

"It is the stuff of nightmares."

Despite this, after 50 days in intensive care and over two months in Bristol Children’s Hospital, Albie is now happy and well. 

Chris pledged to row 10km for every day Albie was fighting for his life to raise money for The Grand Appeal, following the great care his son received.

"The team at Bristol undoubtedly saved his life," he said.

To donate to his fundraiser, visit the JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/page/rowathon-for-bristol-childrens-hospital.

To support Chris, more than 100 Bakkavor Desserts colleagues also participated in a 250m rowing challenge, with both sites also holding fundraising activities such as ‘guess the name of the teddy’, pancake day sales and an Easter raffle.

Both sites managed to raise £1,700, on top of the personal contributions to Chris’ JustGiving page, making a grand total of over £9,000 raised for the Charity.

Speaking on the money raised, Chris Petitt said: “Everyone has been really supportive both inside and outside of work to help me fundraise for the fantastic work carried out by the Bristol Children’s Hospital and The Grand Appeal.

"Every penny this event makes will genuinely go on life-saving equipment that will be used on a day-to-day basis.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to Bakkavor Desserts and everyone who has helped me raise such a great amount for this worthy cause.”