Fundraiser stories

Andy Reynolds

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IT consultant Andy Reynolds completed an intense trek through the Everest region to raise money for the hospital that saved his brother. 

Andy climbed five summits, reaching an altitude of 5,546 metres and raising an incredible £10,000 for the St Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.

Martin Reynolds, Andy’s brother, was treated at the ICU after a motor scooter accident left him with a damaged spinal cord and a fractured neck, requiring a gruelling eight-hour operation and several weeks on a ventilator to recover.

Andy said: “What kept me motivated was knowing that I was raising a significant amount of money for the charity — and that my brother is facing a much tougher mountain of his own.”

Ruby Danowski

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Mother Ruby Danowski raised more than £2,000 for the neonatal unit at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital by completing a 35-mile cycling challenge.

Ruby had experienced a normal pregnancy until baby Vaughn arrived, but a difficult delivery left her newborn struggling with restricted flow of oxygen to his brain. Thankfully Vaughn was in good hands. Experts at the neonatal unit were able to provide first-class care, helping him survive those tough early days.

Ruby took part in the Thames Bridge Bike Ride in October, cycling the 35-mile route to repay the team.

“The hospital provided a private room for me so I could visit Vaughn around the clock,” she said.

“And when our fragile family felt overwhelmed with fear, the support and care of the nurses and consultants kept us strong.”

Arlo Elwin

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Six-year-old Arlo Elwin teamed up with Paralympic athlete Kadeena Cox to complete the final leg of a unique triathlon.

Arlo was born by emergency caesarean at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital after suffering several strokes inside his mother’s womb. He was resuscitated by doctors and spent 11 days in intensive care before being reunited with his family — but that hasn’t stopped him taking on his
amazing sporting challenge.

By sprinting to the finish line alongside Kadeena in the Superhero Tri event at Dorney Lake, Arlo raised over £850 for the neonatal unit that cared for him during his first few days!

Alice Elwin, Arlo’s mother, said: “Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea is the reason Arlo is still here today and doing so well. He spent 11 days on drugs and it was touch and go whether or not he would survive. He looked pretty lifeless and I wasn’t able to hold him for four days while he was being cooled.

“We were like zombies at the time and it was truly heartbreaking and awful to go through, but the care was amazing. The NHS is simply incredible and we can never put into words our appreciation for the care we received.”

Storm Warner

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Storm Warner was just 22 when he was pulled from his burning car and rushed to hospital for emergency liver surgery.

Less than a year after the crash Storm completed a sponsored solo skydive to thank the staff at St Mary’s Hospital who provided outstanding care during his recovery, raising £1,000 for the trauma departments!

He believes he owes his life to the lightning-fast response of the ambulance team, the life-saving surgery carried out by experts at Hammersmith Hospital and the attentive care of nurses who helped him recover at St Mary’s.

He added: “I feel like all the money I’ve paid into the NHS has paid off in one go. I’m never going to complain about paying my National Insurance again. A friend told me he thought I was gone and it still hasn’t sunk in that I’m here. I appreciate how lucky I’ve been.”