Ringwood teenager meets his F1 heroes

Samuel Cheetham with his parents in the Mercedes garage at the Grand Prix.

Samuel Cheetham with his parents in the Mercedes garage at the Grand Prix.

First published in News

A TEENAGER with a heart condition met his Formula 1 heroes at the British Grand Prix.

Samuel Cheetham met almost all the drivers, including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and had a tour of the pit lane.

The 14-year-old from Ringwood has Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which makes it difficult for his heart to pump blood through his lungs, and puts him at risk of heart failure.

He is treated by London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the racing mad Ferndown Upper pupil was a special guest of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Samuel said: “It was an amazing day. Jenson was a lot taller in real life and Lewis was way shorter.

“We got to watch all of practice and all of qualifying, from the pits, from Copse and the Wellington Straight.

“The cars were phenomenal, especially the noise.”

Samuel has intravenous medication delivered 24 hours a day through a pump he carries in a rucksack.

He said: “There was a lot of walking on the day but I was fine.”

His father Tim, 52, who works in property maintenance, applied for the treat after seeing a poster in a waiting room at Great Ormond street.

The family drove up in a motor home and mother Karen, 50, said: “The day was on two levels, really.

“First of all because he was so interested in Formula 1, he was excited like any 14-year-old boy would be.

“But there were also mixed emotions because 10 years ago, when he was first diagnosed, from what they said he shouldn’t be here, basically. To see him at something like that was a really special moment.”

Comments (1)

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5:20pm Tue 31 Jul 12

DoakInFocus says...

This article made me smile. I have a 13 year old daughter with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and a husband who loves F1 racing. It was so nice to see F1 doing something special for someone with this rare, often unheard of, and under diagnosed disease. Kudos to Bernie Ecclestone and all the F1 drivers and workers who made Samuel's day special.
Christina Doak
Sandy, Utah USA
This article made me smile. I have a 13 year old daughter with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and a husband who loves F1 racing. It was so nice to see F1 doing something special for someone with this rare, often unheard of, and under diagnosed disease. Kudos to Bernie Ecclestone and all the F1 drivers and workers who made Samuel's day special. Christina Doak Sandy, Utah USA DoakInFocus
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