They’re riding to save lives!

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 April 2015

Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn


Devon Freewheelers’ founder Daniel Lavery’s life changed forever in 2005 when his wife, Shelley collapsed while pregnant with their youngest child.

Rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast, near where they were staying, she was diagnosed with placenta previa accreta – a serious condition where the placenta attaches to the woman’s uterine wall - and given an emergency caesarean.

Shelley ‘bled out’ two full blood transfusions, was read the last Rites by a priest and Daniel was told to gather the family to say their goodbyes. When all around seemed bleak, Daniel became aware of a stranger – a hidden hero – a motorcyclist on a blood bike, delivering essential donations to save Shelley’s life.

A year on, his wife and son thriving, Daniel often thought about the blood bike volunteer and what he did. He decided to set up a similar service – and Devon Freewheelers was born.

A minimum of £150,000 a year is needed to run the lifeline service; the charity’s bank balance often means the service runs ‘hand-to-mouth’.

Fundraising is at the heart of the charity’s success – and its team of dedicated volunteers.

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