Almost 9 months after a terrifying accident left her with severe spinal injuries, Katy Parker is planning to walk 10 miles to celebrate her recovery and to support the hospital staff whose skill helped her on the road to recovery. On 24th/25th August, Katy is set to walk 10 miles on the Scilly Island of St Mary to raise funds for the Occupational Therapy (OT) Department at St Richard’s Hospital. All funds raised are to go to the Friends of Chichester Hospitals, who have recently donated a new “fleet” of wheelchairs and support cushions to help more patients on their journey to recovery
Says Katy, “Six weeks before the end of 2020 a van hit me as I was crossing the road on my way home after work. I was in St Richard’s hospital for almost two weeks with three fractured vertebrae. I couldn’t fault their care and would like to say a big Thank you to all of them. Therefore I decided to walk around the Isles of Scilly this summer to raise money for them.”
After her stay in St Richard’s Wittering Ward, Katy set about slowly regaining her ability to walk, and has spent months gradually building up her strength and preparing for the walk. During her recovery, most of which was during lockdown, she also drew strength from writing a blog , looking positively at her experiences. “Having a goal for the summer was a huge help”, she says, as she looks forward to the challenge at the end of August.
“Occupational Therapists help patients to resume their normal lives after suffering many different injuries and conditions,” explained Katy, “and they made a real difference to my recovery. The Friends have donated so much equipment to St Richard’s, I wanted to help them do even more.”
“I had a great physio and occupational therapists whilst in the hospital. We worked together to get me into shape. From my first baby steps to using a walking trolley and finally on to learning to walk with crutches. They organised support for me. I received pastoral care and it was so helpful. They arranged my staged return back home as the trauma I went through caused that I was scared to leave my room. With their help I was able to pass the stairs and car test in order to go back home”.
Katy’s fundraising page is at Crowdfunding to support St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester on JustGiving