Thank you for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page documenting our part of the Team Harsa year of fundraising.
My name is Tony Barber and I would like to say a few words about Harsa, the God-Mother to my children Henry and Amelia.
She is beautiful inside and out, and is the linchpin within her expanding family and also her extended family of close friends and neighbours.
She is also very much loved by many Uckfield families from her career within the Pre-School community, having seen so many local youngsters grow up to be the young adults they have since become.
Five years ago we were devastated to be told that without warning, Harsa had become extremely unwell and had been put into an induced coma. She was transported from Eastbourne hospital to St Thomas' hospital in London and put on a life support system called ECMO.
Throughout the coming weeks, friends and family alike sat by her bedside hoping and praying that her life could be saved.
I will never forget the call from Micky when he delivered the devastating news that there was nothing more the Doctors could do. Everybody had fought so hard to save her and every avenue of medical science available to us had been explored to no avail.
We were asked if we would come to be by her side and to support her family as one thing was clear, nobody within 'Team Harsa' would accept this was the end of the road for her.
We spent many hours talking to the Doctors in charge of Harsa's care and we pledged to find a solution as permission to turn off her life support was NOT an option for us. Instead we researched far and wide, cases from around the world and looking for the tiniest glimmer of hope which finally came when we read of a transplant in another country, where the patient had gone on to receive a transplant from being kept alive on ECMO. We pursued this option, even calling upon the almighty strength of Harsa herself by waking her up from her induced coma to plead her case and demonstrate that we would all fight on.
Finally we won the support of the amazing teams both at St Thomas ' and Papworth Hospitals and hope was renewed when she was put on the transplant list.
From this seed of hope came a miracle and Harsa went on to defy all the odds when she underwent a double lung and heart transplant only made possible by the outstanding work of our heroes, consultant Dr Jas Parmar and surgeon Mr Dunning.
Since this legendary day, Harsa has gone on to see numerous family members marry and have children, and her own children Natasha and Nathan thriving in their chosen professions, Natasha marrying Adrian two years ago and now they have a gorgeous little girl called Felicity Amelia.
None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the amazing people involved in Harsa's story. From the brave and selfless family of the donor who gave her the gift of life at the time their own hearts were breaking, to the dedicated teams at both hospitals who work tirelessly in saving lives like Harsa's every single day.
For every kind heart involved in a Harsa's story, I decided that I wanted to do something to raise much needed funds to help others who could one day benefit from the amazing research which continues today. In addition, to say thank you for saving the life of one of the most special people in my life and that of my family.
After a beer or two with Micky, I decided that it would be a good idea to put a team together and in honour and recognition of the special people previously mentioned, I proposed that we cycle the 100+ miles from Harsa's home in Uckfield all the way to Papworth Hospital.
When I sobered up the following day, to my surprise I still thought this was a good idea! Micky contacted his brother-in-law Bharat, who without hesitation wanted to assist, and between us we have subsequently formed a team of very kind and supportive members to form Team Harsa.
Team Harsa riders taking on this challenge include myself, Bharat Mianger, Robert Webber, Dinesh Tosar, the owner of Proper Cycling and Coffee Ross McCracken and fellow club riders Phil Stevenson, Colin Lee, Richard Townsley, Chris Webb, Stewart Fairs, Nick Moon, Geoff Hook, Mike Bonsor, Matthew Baker and Sally Baldwin.
We are also hoping to be joined by Harsa's Papworth Hospital consultant Dr Jas Parmar and surgeon Mr John Dunning if they are not called upon to be saving another life on the day of our event.
Please support Team Harsa on Saturday 2nd June and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for reading about this special lady and the people behind her.