Dear dear friends and donors,
Firstly an enormous thank you for your extraordinarily generous donations to Help Refugees. I have been so touched by your donations, your kindness and especially your lovely messages.
Unfortunately I have to tell you that I did NOT finish the challenge of cycling /walking 600 miles in 40 days. I am sorry, but I promise to make it up as soon as I am allowed.
You will see my Strava track wanders gently along the Grand Union canal, as I photographed swans and herons, but then stops abruptly in the middle of the Uxbridge road. That was when on June 24th I sailed unceremoniously over the handle bars just outside Ealing Hospital, and fractured 3 ribs!
I was a day ahead of my target and had cycled 517 glorious miles, meeting extraordinary people along the way, and experiencing such kindness and fun before and after the accident.
I hope I have personally thanked you all for your donations, but I have been told by some friends that they have had difficulty with the website, and making the donations, especially if they were using Paypal. If by any chance you have
not received a personal thank you from me,
do tell me and I will check if there has been a problem with the
web- site as your donation may have not gone through.
Here's the link for the sponsor form
I was discharged from Ealing Hospital, and seemed to be doing well, but 3 days later I experienced intense pain, and I was unable to move; fortunately I had a friend with me in the flat for the first time for 3 months.
To the consternation of my neighbours I was ambulanced into St Mary’s hospital where about 6 amazing doctors, (so good looking as well!) partied around me for the rest of Saturday night, draining 2 litres of blood and plasma from my lung cavity, putting it back in the top, or something red and similar, putting in a glorious epidural, bliss, no pain, controlling my blood pressure which was going into the depths and then sky high, and my oxygenation which had sunk to 52%.
The best thing was that I met David Nott, my all time hero, who has worked in war zones as a surgeon, and has trained countless local surgeons to deal with the horrendous aftermath of the wars. As one dear friend said, that was worth breaking 3 ribs for!
I stayed in hospital for 6 days, and now am at home recovering. The pain is, as my friends warned me very intense, but I am beginning to walk again and I will finish the challenge on foot, hopefully by the end of this month.
So I am reminded again intensely of my extreme luck with where I happen to have been born, a wonderful well equipped hospital within 2 miles of my home, the best treatment possible, as well as talented doctors and nurses, while the refugees struggle with illness, lack of sanitation, making do with makeshift camps if they are lucky, without medical care, and denied their precious community, and I again am thankful for the blessings that I have been given.
Thank you all again for your kindness
PS if you are not familiar with David Nott, his incredible work in war zones, his brave but unassuming character, I urge you to listen to this, and I challenge you to not be in tears.