An intrepid youngster thanked hospital staff who saved her stepdad’s life by presenting a cheque for more than £1,460 to them that she raised on a 20-mile sponsored walk.
Beth Newell, aged seven, walked the impressive distance with her mother Natalie round their home area in Paignton over five days. She handed over the proceeds to Torbay Hospital staff who cared for Steve Newell when he suffered from a virus that caused multiple organ failure in January.
Staff lined the road outside the hospital (run by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust) and clapped Beth as she gave her hard-earned proceeds to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff.
Peggy Christie, ICU Matron, joined the clap. She said: “I thank Beth on behalf of the whole ICU tea. We are very touched by her kind gesture. Beth is an inspiring little girl. I promised her mum that the money Beth raised would be used to provide comfort items for patients.”
Steve was admitted to ICU in January and diagnosed with sepsis and pneumonia. He was placed into a coma almost immediately and was described as extremely sick. During the following days his condition worsened and his kidneys and liver failed, resulting in dialysis, and, he also has a heart condition that required the support of an external pacemaker.
During the initial week, Steve’s family, Natalie, his stepdaughters Connie (aged ten) and Beth (eight) and his son Jonty (three) were told on three occasions he was unlikely to survive. Steve’s family and friends travelled to the hospital from far away to say goodbye.
However, he responded to care from ‘amazing’ staff and continues to recover at home with the support of the hospital and his doctors.
Steve said: “I’m incredibly humbled and thankful to all of the staff at Torbay Hospital that cared for me at this time, and will continue to do throughout my recovery. I feel very lucky and cannot begin to express enough gratitude to all that helped me from the paramedics that took me to hospital, to the fantastic ICU nurses and doctors, and, to the teams on the Simpson Ward who supported me back to being able to go home. What Beth has done is incredible, I’m very proud of her indeed.”
Natalie added: “Beth said she wanted to do something to raise money for the NHS, specifically Torbay Hospital because of what they had done for our family. She loves walking so decided to do a sponsored walk and set a target on Just Giving of £100.”
She set the target of 20 miles in one week and completed it in just five days, walking all over Torbay from the Hospital to Paignton Harbour, and from Wellswood through Torquay.
Natalie said: “We’re forever indebted to the team in the ICU at Torbay Hospital. At times things were awful and the thought of what could have been is unbearable. Beth has done us all so proud in raising this money and she’s very excited to be giving it to the staff that actually saved Steve’s life over those days.”
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