The power of two – siblings take on two 10k runs
Brother and sister James and Amanda Taylor ran two 10K events for Guys’ and St Thomas’ earlier this year and raised more than £1000. The energetic pair timed their races to mark the anniversaries of the beginning and end of their mother Marian’s treatment for a heart condition.
Following a heart operation in 2014 that didn’t go to plan, Marian ended up spending two months in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at St Thomas’ before she sadly passed away.
Marian encountered various complications, and she was kept on a ventilator. This meant she wasn’t able to speak, but the staff provided her with a white board so she was able to communicate her needs.
‘The nurses were extremely patient with not only mum, but all of us,’ says Amanda. ‘They all communicated with her as a person, not just a patient. The doctors always explained as much as they could to mum, to allow her to be aware of everything.’
Portable ventilator used to take Marian outside
Amanda and James remember one occasion when the staff arranged a portable ventilator for their mother so they could take her outside by the River Thames.
‘It allowed her fresh air and a chance to see and smell flowers again, which she loved,’ says Amanda. ‘Just magical in the dark moments.’
Two 10k runs to mark Marian’s treatment
Amanda and James say they wanted to fundraise to repay the staff for their kindness. ‘They never gave up on mum and this was just a small thing that we could do to pay back.’
They decided that the two separate runs in May and August were a fitting way to mark their mother’s journey with the hospital and also to remember her by.
Friends and family gathered forces on the sidelines to cheer them on at both events, and the pair lapped up the ‘amazing’ atmosphere.
‘I’d love to see some of this money go towards supporting those fantastic doctors and nurses on the ICU,’ says Amanda. ‘They are incredible people, who deserve so much thanks and praise for the amazing work they do.’
Above right image: Marian on the portable ventilator looking out at the Thames
If you've been inspired by Marian's story, or you'd like to get involved in fundraising for Guy's and St Thomas', you can find out more here.