A HAMPSHIRE dad will be pushing the pedals for a charity that helped his family in the first crucial weeks of his premature son's life.

Stephen Cooper, of Chandler's Ford, will be among 40,000 cyclists taking to the streets for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 tomorrow.

The 39-year-old will be fundraising for special care baby charity Bliss.

Stephen's son Harrison was born three months premature in July 2011 weighing just 703g.

Daily Echo:

Harrison Cooper in intensive care at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital

Due to his low weight he had to stay in the special care baby unit at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

For 62 days he was dependent on an oxygen machine, twice he needed resuscitating and five times he underwent life-saving blood transfusions.

It took 94 days before Harrison was able to go home for the first time, and even then, he still had to be on oxygen.

However, he has gone on to be a happy three year old.

Stephen and his wife Jackie read advice leaflets from Bliss while in hospital.

Bliss provides support and free advice to families of babies born premature and sick and Stephen wants to help them support other families in his situation.

Quality engineer Stephen, of Highclere Way, said: “When Harrison was born the staff at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital special care baby unit were brilliant, they helped make sure my wife and I were not left worried or without answers at any point during the three months he was in hospital.”

To donate to Stephen's challenge visit justgiving.com/StephenCooper100.