Father to roller skate one thousand miles in aid of neonatal charity

A father whose twins spent months in hospital after being born prematurely is aiming to roller skate 1,000 miles to raise money for a neonatal charity.

Ross Pollock, 47, from Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire, said Jack and Jasmine were born just 25 weeks into their mother’s pregnancy in July 2014.

Both spent months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth – they are now seven years old, and Mr Pollock said he wants to give something back.

Ross Pollock (top left) with his wife Irina (top right) and (from left to right) Jack, Jimmy and Jasmine
Ross Pollock (top left) with his wife Irina (top right) and (from left to right) Jack, Jimmy and Jasmine (Ross Pollock)

“We all have our challenges in life – the twins, what they went through, was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” he told the PA news agency.

“I don’t think anything can set you up for just how difficult it is.

“We were very lucky to come out of it with the twins – not everyone is so fortunate, but I want to try and do something to help other people who may find themselves in the same situation.

“We had a challenging time but we owe it to the doctors and nurses and the effort that they put in.

“You go into a neonatal intensive care unit and they might have a dozen incubators in that room, and you know the ages of the babies, and you sort of get to know their parents.

“You go in there the next day and you see one’s empty and you know it shouldn’t be. You’re living that with the families.”

Ross Pollock's son Jack
Ross Pollock’s son Jack, who spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit (Ross Pollock/PA)

Mr Pollock will be raising money for Ickle Pickles, a charity which helps provide intensive care equipment that treats babies, including premature children.

He will do so by tapping into his childhood interest, roller skating, aiming to skate 1,000 miles over the course of three months beginning on May 13.

The data centre manager estimates he has skated 5,000 miles over the last four to five years, and will be aiming for an average of about 15 miles a day during his challenge.

His preparations have not been without difficulty however, with Covid wreaking havoc with his plans.

Ross Pollock's twins, Jack and Jasmine
Ross Pollock’s twins, Jack and Jasmine (Ross Pollock/PA)

“I only just got up to 100-mile weeks again, I think it was February or March time,” he said.

“(I) managed to do it for one week then got Covid – (I have) been building my fitness up again since.”

However, the keen skater was optimistic he would complete his challenge in time.

“To do 100 miles a week on skates, it takes it out of you physically,” he said.

“It’s going to kill me, don’t get me wrong. I’m 48 this year, but I’m all geared up for it and I can’t wait.

“I will do it, I don’t start something I can’t finish.”

To find out more about Mr Pollock’s challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ross-pollock8.