Ray’s Camino de Santiago

24 June 2022
Ray Symons 1.jpg

After spending 5 weeks at St George’s Hospital back in 2020, Ray Symons has decided to take on the Camino de Santiago to raise funds for the General Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team who looked after him so well.

Ray became ill with Covid back in April 2020 and had spent a month in an induced coma at Kingston Hospital before being transferred to ICU at St George’s Hospital. Shortly after arriving at St George’s he was woken up from the induced coma and he said, ‘As I regained consciousness I found myself largely paralysed, unable to speak and only able to breathe with the aid of a mechanical ventilator. To begin with I was disorientated and at times quite frightened. Throughout my stay I received superb care from everyone at the hospital - doctors, physios, nutritionists, radiologists, speech and language therapists, everyone. However, it was the kindness of the nursing team and the quality of care I received from them that kept me sane during that period and put me on to the path to recovery.’

Two years later, Ray has pretty much fully recovered from his time in hospital and wanted to do something to give back and say thank you for all the amazing care he received. He has chosen to take on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrim route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. He sets off on 13th June with a friend who is raising money for a brain tumour charity and although he has never attempted anything like this before, Ray and his friend have spent the last few months training up to be as prepared as they can be. They have taken on routes in all kinds of weather, including walking from Waterloo station to the Thames Barrier on the day of Storm Eunice and feeling their way through the fog from Whitstable to Margate, but have overall enjoyed the training and are both nervous and excited to get going!

Ray has already raised a phenomenal amount but would love your support, donate here and wish him luck taking on this huge challenge: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ray-symons1

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