Students scale the heights for spinal injuries patients

Posted on in Fundraising, Hospitals

Adventourus students from Teesside University are taking on a mammoth challenge for The Golden Jubilee spinal cord injuries centre at The James Cook University Hospital.

Some of the students taking part: (left to right) Jack Fenwick, John McWhirter, Teri Ellis, Jason Marsh, Matthew Hall, Patrick Traylor, Demi Johnston

Some of the students taking part: (left to right) Jack Fenwick, John McWhirter, Teri Ellis, Jason Marsh, Matthew Hall, Patrick Traylor, Demi Johnston

The enthusiastic group of second year physiotherapy students – who have been on a 10-week work placement at the centre at the Middlesbrough hospital – were so inspired by the caring and inspirational staff and the patients and their journeys they wanted to do something to help.

The intrepid students, aged between 20 and 35, are tackling the National Three Peaks Challenge – climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland – Ben Nevis (4,409 feet) Scafell Pike (3,209 feet) and Snowdon (3,560 feet) – in 24 hours on 24 to 25 May 2016.

They are aiming to raise £3,000 to buy a Sara Stedy TM – an enhanced standing aid used to assist patient transfers – as well as other medical equipment which will benefit patients on the unit.

The Sara Stedy encourages more mobile patients to stand up independently improving strength in their legs and at the same time reducing the physical demand on physiotherapists.

The spinal injuries centre looks after patients with new and existing spinal cord injuries from the day of their injury with life-long follow up.  It is supported by the spinal surgical service and a level-one trauma centre together with interventional radiology and complete range of other specialities.

It has its own high dependency unit (HDU) where spinal cord injured patients requiring ventilation can be supported.   Rehabilitation is also carried out in centre by a specialist team working across many specialties.

Student Patrick Traylor, 28, said: “As physiotherapists we are encouraged to promote health.  This challenge will push us to our physical as well as mental limits.  We chose to do a very physically demanding challenge as we want to be able to practice what we preach.

“On a day to day basis we come in contact with patients fighting a mental battle of recovery, a lot of the time against the unknown. As students we have to be able to communicate and help patients through this battle. This challenge will rely on us sticking together as a group and motivating and encouraging each other when we hit the inevitable low moments.’’

Patrick added:  “We wanted to raise money for the hospital and the spinal injuries centre in particular, as they provide students with so much support.   Learning from great practitioners in various departments definitely allows us to leave university confident we can do the job of a physiotherapist.”

Patrick is hoping their efforts will inspire future students to carry on fundraising for the centre and to pass down the baton to the next year 2 students on placement.

If anyone would like to sponsor the student physio team you can make a donation via their Just Giving site