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Sisters take on South Coast Challenge for CT ICU

16th August 2017

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend two sisters, Jenny and Caroline, will take on the South Coast Challenge for the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit in memory of their dear father Nigel Halsey.

The challenge is a foot-blisteringly long 100km walk from Eastbourne to Arundel that will take the pair two days to complete. Caroline spoke about how their training has been going on their JustGiving page: “At first it seemed pretty simple as we meandered along on one of our first 10km training walks, wrapped up in scarves and hats, sipping on hot chocolate.

Several months and hundreds of miles of training walks later we now know better. It's a very long way! One day we were supposed to walk all the way from Walton-On-Thames to London Waterloo and our legs literally gave up walking at Putney. We had to take a bus!”

But Jenny and Caroline keep notching up the miles because the cause is so close to their hearts. In 2015 their father was taken ill and admitted to hospital. After two weeks of uncertainty he was eventually found to have a huge abdominal aortic aneurysm which was complicated further by other medical conditions.  He was eventually transferred to the Cardiothoracic ICU at St George’s Hospital but sadly Nigel didn’t wake up following an operation to try and save his life. His family were faced with a heart-breaking decision, and turned off his life support on 6th March 2015. His wife and four children were all with him when he died.

Caroline also talked about her father’s shining personality: “Dad was an absolute trooper during his final weeks. He was scared and extremely unwell, but he fought so hard and we are very lucky to have been able to spend so much time with him, thanks to the work of the staff at Frimley Park, and then at St George's.”   

 

Jenny and Caroline have raised a phenomenal amount - over £2,200 so far. Their donations are already being put to work. New, more comfortable chairs have been ordered for one of the unit’s relative’s rooms and the rest of the money raised will also make a huge difference to the lives of patients and their families on the ward.

The relative’s rooms are a vital space for the families of patients. They spend a lot of time in shock and in turmoil there, often using the room every day over a period of many weeks whilst their loved one is receiving treatment. It is somewhere to gather thoughts and energy in between bedside visits so Caroline, Jenny, and the rest of their family are delighted that they have helped it a more comfortable space for anyone who needs to use it in the future.

All the staff at St George’s Hospital Charity and the CT ICU wish them the best of luck for the challenge and we can’t thank them enough for their incredible support.

If you would like to sponsor Caroline and Jenny you can do so by visiting their JustGiving page. Alternatively you can make a donation to CT ICU by clicking here.

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