When Kath Askew was rushed to The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough from a break she and husband Bill were enjoying in Seahouses, Northumberland, her close family raced to be with her.
Kath had suffered a ruptured brain tumour, caused by melanoma and underwent an emergency operation. She then recouperated for several days on ward 24 of the hospital. While the 55 year-old from Guisborough was on the ward, bedside visitors were kept to just two at time.
The family fully appreciate that the care Kath, who has now fully recovered, received in surgery and on the ward was exemplary. However, the waiting area that the rest of the family had to use was judged to be not of the same high standard.
Daughter Sarah Cooper decided that as a thank you to the ward for the level of care, the family would fundraise to improve the comfort and ambience of the waiting area.
Guisborough-born and bred Sarah, now head of corporate communications at Cambridgeshire Police, took no prisoners in roping vast swathes of her family into signing up for the Boxing Day dip at Redcar. This includes her dad Bill, husband Martin, uncle Jonathan, grandma Jean, brother Chris and his three-year old daughter Florence.
Sarah said: “Spending Boxing Day morning in the sea will be nothing compared to the hours we spent in the waiting room in the hospital!
“Thanks to the amazing surgeons, doctors, nurses and health care assistants on ward 24, my mum made an amazing recovery and is doing well, so 12 months on from some of the worst hours of our lives, we are raising some money to do up the room so it’s a more pleasant place for another family going through something similar.”
The family are collecting the funds through Virgin Money Giving at virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web