Richard Chadwick

Issy's Journey 2021

Fundraising for Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Charitable Fund
raised of £5,000 target
by 292 supporters
We support the Trust to be there for patients and their families


"We have the start of an Eating Disorder" 

Our 15 year old daughter, Issy - twin to Olivia and big sister to William - was diagnosed with Anorexia in January 2021.  

2020 had been a challenging year for her, as it has been for many.  Covid, online schooling, not seeing friends and feeling isolated had attributed to her anxieties which culminated in limiting food, poor nutrition and counting calories.  

A routine blood pressure and weight appointment ended in Issy being admitted onto Hedgehog Ward at Pembury Hospital on the 17th February.  

Her heart and kidneys were struggling - the professionals made her safe, they encouraged her to eat, they made her physically better.  She had her good days and bad days but everyone stood by her.

During her time on the ward she played endless games with nurses, dr’s, trainee dr’s, staff popped by to visit her - make her laugh, sing, dance, entertain her.  Her walls were adorned with get well wishes and posters of encouragement, cards from family, friends and her classmates.  The play assistant (Lilly) spent hours with Issy - Lilly would go home after work and research into Mental Health and look for ways to help.  She created a ‘Positivity Tree’ - a huge tree trunk and each day Issy would add a branch and write her daily achievements : attended geography / ate an apple / walked outside / had a shower / saw are siblings etc.  

After a total of 77 days on Hedgehog Ward, Issy was moved to an inpatient facility in Herfordshire where she remains to this day. Throughout the 77 days she wrote a diary - noting down 97 names of different staff members who had been to see and help her.  

The Chadwick family (Richard, Sarah, Olivia and William with Dexter the dog) will each walk a total of 77 miles in the month of August to recognise the number of days Issy spent on Hedgehog Ward.   You can track their activities via Strava and feel free to join them over the August Bank Holiday weekend where they will be walking in Knole Park to complete the challenge.  

Anorexia is an illness - with a broken bone it can be put in a sling or a cast to heal and repair.   Anorexia takes considerably longer - it takes time, support, encouragement and love - the body and the brain need to repair.  Its a slow onward journey for our family. 

We are currently talking to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Charity on how the funds raised through this event could be used to support other patients like Issy.

Thank you all so much for your support and in taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.

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About the charity

We raise vital funds to make MTW Hospitals an outstanding, patient friendly provider by providing additional equipment, services and amenities, above what the NHS can currently provide, improving the care received and health outcomes across the areas in which the Trust operates.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £2,025.10 Gift Aid
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Offline donations

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