Andy Reynolds' brother, Martin, was treated at the hospital after a motor scooter accident left him with serious injuries, including damage to his spinal cord and a fractured neck. After a gruelling 8-hour operation and several weeks on a ventilator, Martin is on the long road to recovery and his family is positive about the outcome.
Andy wants to repay the team that made such a huge difference and next month he’ll join the 18-day Everest Base Camp trek, reaching an altitude of 5546 metres and climbing five summits.
“It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this. It’s quite intense. I spent 3 hours in the gym this morning. I’m stepping up the training because there isn’t long to go.”
Every penny of the money raised will go to improving care in the ICU and some of it is earmarked for a piece of equipment that made a big difference to Martin.
“When Martin came off the ventilator from the tracheostomy his cough wasn’t strong enough to clear his lungs and that was causing problems,” said Andy.
His recovery was helped by a ‘coughing machine’ and some of the money raised will buy an additional one for the unit.
“It made a hell of a difference because it enabled me to cough without being assisted,” said Martin. “The only other way is to push your stomach but that can hurt after a while if you do it so many times. It helps, but they’re not cheap.”
“The level of care that Martin had from all of the staff was brilliant,” said Andy. “There have been good days and bad days but throughout that period the care and attention has been fantastic.”
Martin echoed his brother’s praise, saying: “The level of care has been absolutely unbelievable. I’m on first name terms with virtually all of the nurses and some of the doctors as well!”
If you’d like to sponsor Andy, you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy-reynolds6
NHS staff can find out how to get involved with Imperial Health Charity during Great Place to Work Week – a special event celebrating the many benefits of working for the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
We will be hosting several events throughout the week (September 25 - October 1) to give members of Trust staff the chance to learn more about our work across grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising.
A talk on Matisse by Graham Greenfield from the Royal Academy of Arts, a pub quiz at the Old Suffolk Punch in Hammersmith and drop-in sessions to help you apply for a grant are just a few of the events taking place during the week.
Imperial Health Charity is working with the Trust to deliver Great Place to Work Week, which will also include a daily roadshow featuring a range of stalls and activities.
Where can I find the charity?
Come and visit our stall to pick up our latest newsletter and a free charity goody bag. You can find us at the following locations between 11am and 3pm:
Monday 25 September – W12 Conference Centre, Hammersmith Hospital
Tuesday 26 September – outside the Paterson Centre, St Mary’s Hospital
Wednesday 27 September – 3rd Floor seminar room, Western Eye Hospital
Thursday 28 September – Charing Cross Sports Club, Charing Cross Hospital
What else can I do?
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, highlighting the challenges facing those affected by the condition and what can be done to help them.
We’re proud to support the haematology department at Hammersmith Hospital through the Blood Fund which aims to raise £250,000 for research and care for patients with a wide variety of blood disorders.
A key goal for the fund is to increase the number of Clinical Nurse Specialists who provide emotional and psychosocial support, as well as expert advice in specific diseases. David Memory, who has multiple myeloma, joined the Blood Fund committee after experiencing first-hand how much of a difference they make.
“I was in hospital for a stem cell transplant,” said David. “It’s a very scary sounding operation but I was lucky enough to have a Clinical Nurse Specialist.”
“For somebody who hasn’t been very involved in hospitals and operations it was quite a nerve-wracking thought. Having somebody spending as much time as I needed to explain what was going to happen was a massive comfort and help. They made it sound like there was really nothing to worry about.”
David’s experiences have been echoed nationwide. A 2014 survey of cancer patients identified access to a named Clinical Nurse Specialist as the number one indicator of a positive patient experience.
Since then, David has made the most of his experience and is an active part of the committee. He’s taken part in collections and helped organise an upcoming golf day auction to raise money for the fund.
“I think the aims of the Blood Fund are excellent. It’s nice to not only be able to help raise funds but also to have an influence on what they’re spent on.”
To find out more about the Blood Fund and how you can help, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/the-blood-fund
A former model who was left unable to walk, talk, eat or drink following a horrific car crash is to take part in a gruelling endurance challenge for Imperial Health Charity after being saved by medics at St Mary’s Hospital.
Tyrell Todd modelled for GQ and Italian Vogue before suffering catastrophic injuries in the near-fatal crash in January 2015.
He suffered a major bleed inside his brain and had part of his skull removed in a life-saving operation at the hospital.
Tyrell then spent four weeks in a coma and another three months recovering in a hospital bed before he could begin his rehabilitation.
Less than three years later, however, Tyrell is taking on the Tough Mudder – a 12-mile obstacle course through overgrown woodlands and thick, muddy bogs.
The 23-year-old, who previously modelled at the London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, has entered the event to raise money for Imperial Health Charity, which supports St Mary’s and the four other hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
“My speech is still slurred and my concentration levels are not good, but I am trying to move past those difficulties and do something for my kids and the hospital staff who saved my life,” said Tyrell.
“I feel like I am ready to go ahead and do it. It will be nothing compared to what I went through before.”
Tyrell was in the passenger seat of a friend’s car in Potter’s Bar when it spun off the road and struck a tree.
He was rushed to St Mary’s and taken into theatre, where surgeons cut out a section of his skull to treat a large bleed inside his brain. When he eventually woke from an induced coma, he could no longer walk or talk and was being fed through a tube.
“I was moved to the intensive care unit where I was placed on a ventilator and fighting for my life,” he added. “The odds of me surviving the crash were slim to none and my family was losing hope.
“However, the surgery was a success and after spending four weeks in a coma I came through. Ever since then I have wanted to find a way to say how much I appreciate the amazing team of doctors and nurses and all the staff at the Major Trauma Centre who were so dedicated to looking after me.”
Tyrell, who lives in Sudbury, Suffolk, has not been able to work since the crash and now receives care at home five days a week. His rehabilitation is ongoing.
“At first I could not remember anything,” he added. “It took me a month to remember that I had two kids. It was a scary process. I had to put my life back together from people telling me bits and pieces. I’m still not used to it but I’m just grateful to have been given a second chance at life.”
Tyrell had regular physio and speech therapy sessions at St Mary’s following the operation – crucial first steps that eventually enabled him to walk and talk again.
He aims to raise £1,500 for the charity by taking on the Tough Mudder in Faygate, West Sussex, on 23 September. The charity will make sure all the money he raises goes straight back to the Major Trauma Centre at St Mary’s.
He added: “I want to show the staff at St Mary’s how far I have come over the last two and a half years and to prove to them that their efforts have not gone unnoticed. They basically brought me back to life and I want them to see what their work has achieved.
“Hopefully, this money can also enable them to provide the same level of care to other people who end up in the same terrible situation as me."
If you would like to sponsor Tyrell, you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tyrell-todd
A top journalist whose daughter was born prematurely at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital is to run, cycle and swim more than 140 miles to raise money for Imperial Health Charity.
Mark Nicol, Defence Correspondent at the Mail on Sunday, will swap the newsroom for the tough terrain of the Ironman challenge to repay the neonatal team who brought little Isabella safely into the world.
Mark’s wife Zoe spent more than a fortnight in hospital before doctors eventually removed baby Isabella by caesarean at 32 weeks and five days.
She weighed only five lbs at birth and lost more weight during her first few days, requiring breathing assistance through a gas mask.
Mark was so impressed by the care and compassion shown by the staff that he decided to give back to the hospital by raising money for Imperial Health Charity at the Ironman Wales event on 10 September.
The gruelling challenge begins with a 2.4-mile sea swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and rounded off with a full marathon on foot. Avoiding injuries, Mark expects to complete the challenge in around 13 hours.
Imperial Health Charity will ensure that all the money Mark raises will be put straight back into improving the hospital experience for other patients visiting the neonatal unit at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.
“The events I’ve done in the past have been about half this distance, so it has certainly been demanding on the training front,” he said.
“I was always planning to do the Ironman, but I didn’t have a strong feeling about sponsorship until our experience with Isabella. Now I’m full of motivation to give something back to the hospital.”
Isabella was born pre-term by around seven weeks, so her condition had to be carefully managed.
Doctors had managed to extend the pregnancy by about 10 days after Zoe arrived in hospital, giving Isabella the best possible chance of survival.
Both Mark and Zoe were grateful for the professionalism and kindness of the staff who helped them through the birth.
“It was the combination of compassion and professional capability that was so impressive,” Mark added.
“The staff were intelligent, thoughtful and highly communicative, which is incredibly important at a difficult time like that.”
Zoe gave birth to the couple’s first child, Rory, at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea in April 2016, so they knew they were in safe hands despite the complications with Isabella.
Now at one month old Isabella is recovering well, putting on weight and feeding normally.
“It was a hard week for myself and Zoe but it was made so much easier because of the quality of the people who were around us,” Mark added.
“This will be my first full Ironman and obviously my training has been compromised slightly by what has happened, but my motivation is higher than ever.”
If you would like to sponsor Mark, you can visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=MarkNicolIronMan