I have had to postpone this event first of all due to a lack of breathing ability and admission to Ward 29, and now due to other health complications. I will definitely be doing the gym marathon in the near future and will be setting a date for the new year to allow time for the current situation to resolve/be managed. Your patience with me is appreciated, but be assured that I will fulfil this challenge and I will keep you posted on the next proposed date for it.
On 30th October 2009 (depending upon braething ability) I plan to do a sponsored gym marathon at East End Pool, Byker, Newcastle. This will involve doing the distance of a marathon (26 miles/41.84 km) on the gym equipment - treadmill, bike, rowing machine, and cross-trainer. The aim is to raise funds for Ward 29 at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, where I have spent a great deal of time over the last 14 years for life-threatening chronic severe brittle asthma, and where I have always received fantastic care from all the staff, from domestic through to consultant.
Ward 29 is a specialist ward for respiratory medicine, with many people travelling great distances to receive treatment - I've met many who've flown over from Northern Ireland and countless from Cumbria and Yorkshire. As well as asthma Ward 29 treats those with chronic conditions such as emphysema, COPD, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, primary pulmonary hypertension, and lung cancer. Every week they have many patients admitted for assessment for lung transplantation, and they provide a specialist sleep study service assessing those with suspected conditions such as sleep apnoea. In addition to the highly specialised treatment of those with these and other chronic respiratory disease, Ward 29 also provides care for those with the more 'usual' chest infections, pneumonia and bronchitis, so you can see that it is a very busy ward, but they never fail to give excellent care, taking an holistic approach and giving each patient what help they need.
Ward 29 has its own fund with money being spent primarily on patient comforts such as toiletries for those who have none of their own, and presents for patients on the ward over the Christmas period. Each Christmas the ward is made festive with decorations, making it as cheery a place as possible for patients to be at what is often a difficult time to be in hospital. However, each year the Christmas tree and the decorations have to be replaced to assist in the fight against infection, and the costs of these come from the ward fund. It may seem like a trivial thing, but making the ward a cheery place at Christmas can make a huge amount of difference to the patient experience. Aside from this, funds are also spent on medical equipment that would otherwise be limited, and to date have included in-ear thermometers, pulse oximeters, and heart monitors, all of which contribute to patient's well-being, safety and effective monitoring. The ward has recently undergone some much needed redecoration, which was again been paid for through its own funding, but was limited in part by funds available.
I would be very pleased to receive your sponsorship in my endeavour to raise money for Ward 29, showing appreciation for the excellent care the staff consistently give to all their patients; enabling the staff to continue to provide the highest level of care with the equipment they need and in a positive environment; and by way of thanks for them repeatedly saving my life.
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