In 2009, I nearly died of a life threatening pituitary tumour, causing a disease called Cushing's. (And they've actually just removed it again after an unexpected recurrence)
8 years ago, I could barely walk up the stairs. In January '18, thanks to King's College Hospital, I will be in the middle of that Atlantic, on my own, hopefully on my way to being the Fastest Women to Solo Row the 3,000 miles, unsupported.
I am not just going for the World Record, I am hoping to smash it by knocking 11 days off the existing 56 day record, which was set by the French in 2002.
There are two important objectives here:
1. To raise money for King's College Hospital Trust to build a new Intensive Care Unit. (see below)
2. To spread a message to women (and men hopefully will cotton on too!) about the benefits of challenge, collaboration and community.
This 121-bed unit will be the first of it's kind, offering fresh air, natural light and outdoor garden for patient wellbeing.
The 31 days I spent in Kings, including those spent in the ICU, were the most critical, and the most horrendous of my life.
My abiding memory is of seeing my mother's pain-stricken face each day, and seeing her fear that I was about to die.
I am SO grateful to the King's staff and supporters for pulling me and my family through that awful time.
As anyone who has spent time in an ICU, whether as a patient, or as a family member will attest:
This new unit will make an enormous difference to millions of patients and visitors during their hour of need.
Please give generously to support this worthwhile and transformative cause.
With thanks, and love,