Just over 90 days ago I set off to celebrate my 73rd birthday by cycling / walking 600 miles in 40 days, to raise money for
I contacted everyone I knew, asking them to Choose Love and donate to Help Refugees;
As we are more and more aware, especially with the recent sad events;
the death last week of one more young person trying to find safety by crossing the English Channel, the deaths only last week of at least 45 people including 5 children trying to make the crossing from Libya to Italy, and by the desperate situation of people living in unsanitary refugee camps trying to escape the cover 19 virus, every penny is life saving, and supports these people towards living a 'normal' life, with friends, family, education, work, even if it is far from their beloved homes.
You were amazing and over a couple of months you were so generous with your donations, your encouragement, your messages, your understanding, and your help after my accident.
THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. YOU HAVE RAISED OVER £3,600 FOR
I set off like a hare, racing along the deserted London streets, wondering at the architecture of the city, I visited old haunts from my nursing days, and my jewellery business, caught up and cycled with old friends, met several new dear friends, I dashed along the Grand Union Canal East and West, photographing the bird life, herons, and swans, watched cygnets just hatched, and watched them become more independent, grey clouds swimming behind their proud parents.
I must admit I felt a little pleased with myself, as I reached day 32, with 517 miles under my bicycle wheels, I was a over a day ahead of my target, but as we know pride comes before a fall, and I fell big time.
I picked myself up outside Ealing Hospital, dusted myself off and was about to get back on the bike, when I was promptly marched over to the hospital by a very concerned young man.
X-rays and CT scans confirmed 3 broken ribs.
To cut a long story short, over the next month I spent a total of 13 nights in hospital, my left side looks like a patchwork quilt now with three sites of drains, with beautiful stitch marks. And I realised how extremely lucky I was to have born in a place where the medical care was automatic and second to none.
That extreme good fortune was really brought home to me when I was blessed by a brief visit from David Nott in St Mary’s hospital.
For the last 27 years David has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in the world’s most dangerous places. His voluntary work has taken him to war torn countries, Sarajevo, Congo,Yemen, Lebanon and of course Syria.
In these countries, the patients, many of them children, are suffering multiple injuries caused by cluster bombs, or sniper fire.
The surgeons, some with only basic training, are working under extreme pressure in dirty operating theatres, with minimal surgical equipment. The personal dangers for the surgeons is immense. The Geneva convention to protect medical personnel, facilities and equipment is mostly ignored. In fact these were prime targets.
I have spent the last week of my convalescence reading David’s honest compassionate inspiring book,
I highly recommend reading this book. (link above). It really conveys the horrendous situations that the people who are seeking refugee status have been living through, and why they are forced to make these desperate journeys.
Now, I have finished my project like a tortoise, and walked the last 83 miles to achieve the total of the promised 600 miles. Again I was grateful to you and your trust in me. Walking was the best thing I could do to get my rather damaged lungs back into shape.
Thank you so much for sponsoring my project and donating to