Weʼre raising £1,000 to for the brilliant staff on Ward 4 of Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, and for the wonderful A&E staff at Addenbrooke's.
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In November last year, getting changed on the riverbank after my daily swim, I noticed a small lump in my left thigh. At first I thought it was a bite or a bump, but it wasn't itchy and it didn't hurt. When it hadn’t gone down after a few weeks, I went to my GP who was concerned enough to refer me for a scan. Two days before Christmas I had an ultrasound which quickly led to an MRI and then to a CT scan. In January, I was referred to Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital for a biopsy which came back inconclusive, so the only option was to have surgery to remove my mysterious guest.
On February 24th 2021, I was admitted to Ward 4 of Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital at the height of the most deadly wave of the pandemic. I was a long way from home and unable to have visitors for the duration of my week-long stay. It was a frightening time but would have been more so had I not been cared for by such compassionate, intuitive, playful and encouraging NHS staff.
I would like to say a great big THANK YOU! to every single member of Ward 4 staff who checked my leg, monitored my blood pressure, my oxygen levels, my sugar levels, who injected me as painlessly as possible, who helped me to the loo, who washed me, fed me, filled and refilled my water jug (sorry, thirsty gal), cleaned my room, changed my sheets, told me about the weather, who smiled at the photo of my children by my bed, gave me morphine, who showed me how to self-inject an anticoagulant into my tummy, who encouraged me out of bed when I couldn’t bend my leg, and who helped me access the Wi-Fi so I could Zoom home. I am especially grateful to the nurse who caught me when I fainted the first time I stood up, and to the crash team who burst in as though we were in an episode of Casualty!
Once I was well enough to make the journey back to Cambridge, I was greeted by Chris, kids, cats, cuddles, cards and curry. I made a speedy recovery at home, mostly I think because I was so desperate to get back in that river of mine! By March I was able to hobble along riverbank on my crutches and to watch (and envy) my swimming sisters having their swims. At my check-up in April, I was a gazillion miles beyond relieved to learn that the tumour had been benign. And two weeks after that, thanks to my physio, my acupuncturist, and of course my cheerleading swimming sisters, I was finally able to get back in the river and resume my daily swims.
I now have a cracking 8" scar along my left thigh and a permanent disfigurement, having lost two thirds of one of my quadriceps. I have also had to learn to walk again, to drive, to ride my bike, and of course to swim. Sometimes I need to go slowly as I am liable to cramp in the part of the muscle I still have when I overuse it.
On Sunday September 26th at 11am, some of my swimming sisters and I will attempt to swim the 2k stretch of the River Cam between The Orchard at Grantchester and Sheep’s Green near Lammas Land. If you are local and would like to support us in person (or even if you’re not so local but fancy a day trip to Cambridge) please do come to either the start point, the end point, or any of the riverbank along Grantchester Meadows and cheer us along, you’ll be able to spot us by our neon tow bags! We estimate being in the water for about an hour, and we will (hopefully) celebrate our achievement with coffee and cake for all at the finish.
**UPDATE** My lovely school friend and her partner who run My Persian Kitchen, Cambridge are very kindly donating two delicious Persian Love Cakes for us to scoff with our coffee (and friends) after the swim - they are not to be missed!
**FURTHER UPDATE** Anything we raise above the £1000 for the staff of Ward 4 at Birmingham will be donated to the incredible staff at Addenbrooke's A&E who recently saved my sister's life.**
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Oct 10, 2021
Oct 3, 2021
Amazing Kaddy! Well done
Sep 28, 2021
Michael & Chris
Sep 28, 2021
Sep 27, 2021
Thank you for taking care of Kaddy, the wonderful poet, who graces the walls of my own hospital... ♥️♥️♥️ And well done on the swim all of you!!
Sep 27, 2021
Sep 27, 2021
Well done Kaddy! xx
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