Yorkshire dad to cycle UCI World Championships to thank hospitals for saving son's sight

A Yorkshire dad will cycle the UCI World Championships, raising money for the hospitals that saved his son's sight.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 4:49 pm
Joe and Lois Bennett with their son Theo.

Joe Bennett, a scientist from Wilberfoss, near York, will complete the gruelling 92 mile route in September, raising money for Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Joe's sixteen-month-old son, Theo, had an operation to remove cataracts from his eyes, a rare condition affecting only three in 10,000 children.

After Joe and his wife Lois noticed a clouding in his eyes, Theo's sight was saved by specialist treatment at Leeds General Infirmary, St James's and Leeds Children's Hospital.

Theo had surgery to remove the cataracts and replace his lenses with artificial ones.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The couple, who have two other sons - Noah, aged eight and Toby, aged seven - say they want to repay the Leeds hospitals for their care.

Joe is already a keen cyclist and signed up for the UCI event to support charity Leeds Cares.

He said: “It is just wonderful to see Theo beaming and smiling again, from watching him struggle to where he is now we have seen such a change in him.

“As soon as Theo opened his eyes after the operation you could see him looking around like he’d never done before. You could tell straight away that he was seeing more.

“It was wonderful – just like when you see the reaction of people who are able to hear for the first time. And when Theo got his first pair of glasses his little face lit up when he could see clearly for the first time. That was very special.

“We've still a way to go with Theo's vision, but after another surgery in June he's doing really well - and it's all thanks to the amazing team in Leeds."