Cyclist smashes fundraising target for hospital that saved her life

17 Jul 2020 02:57
Published by: Scott Callan

An avid cyclist returned to hospital this week to express her gratitude to medics who saved her life by showering them with cash and gifts.

Michelle Vorel-Adams said a heartfelt ‘thank you' to the Royal Stoke University Hospital by presenting a cheque for more than £4,000 and hampers of special treats to doctors in the haematology ward and the paramedics who raced to her assistance.

A few months ago Michelle, collapsed at home with severe leg and pelvic pain which was diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body - and could have proved fatal if not caught in time.

During lockdown she and her partner Phil Fortun went on a month-long sponsored cycle, RIDE2020UK, pedalling round Staffordshire everyday in a bid to raise £2020 to repay the hospital.

Thanks to sponsorship from family and friends and support from Michelle's connections in the Cheshire and Staffordshire business community, they more than doubled their target raising a whopping £4,707.75!

Now Michelle, who runs international sports and commerce firm Sphere Connect, plans to make the ride an annual summer event for the hospital.

She said: "It was quite an emotional reunion with the team who looked after me, especially the two female paramedics. My DVT was life-threatening and their medical assessment at the scene was vital to my survival.

"Often paramedics don't get the recognition they deserve when in many cases, including mine, their first response is the most critical part of the whole process.

"The girls were complete angels and it's thanks to them I am here today. I will be eternally grateful to them."

The couple's challenge, to cycle 2,020km over the course of a month, won backing from big names including SweetSpot Group, JCB in Rocester, Fox's Biscuits in Uttoxeter, Mornflake cereals in Crewe, the Francesco Group in Stafford and Pro Vision sports clothing. Publicity was by Pure PR Nantwich.

The pair armed with a specially-made NHS rainbow cake and hamper from Denstone Hall farm shop and hamper of Fox's biscuits as well as Francesco hair products and Tour of Britain signed cycling jerseys for the hospital to raffle to raise more funds.

Michelle added: "In lockdown we Clapped for the NHS and although cycling everyday was a hard slog, their selflessness spurred me on. I kept focused on getting out there each day - come wind, rain or shine. I am delighted the hospital will be putting the money towards both staff and patient welfare."

She was thrilled to say thank you in person to Consultant Physician Dr Zia Din and paramedics Lesley Pugh and Corinne Potts, who attended her emergency call out.

Hospital boss Tracy Bullock pledged the money would go to good use. She said: "Every penny raised will enable us to further improve the care and experience of our patients in our Haematology Ward through the purchase of patient information booklets and improved reception area seating, and the wellbeing of our staff in the Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Unit through the purchase of recliner chairs for staff areas."

Plans for RIDE2021UK are already underway and she would like to hear from Cheshire cyclists and businesses who can get behind the effort.




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