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Stephanie’s 126 miles for Ward 126

A Stoke-on-Trent fundraiser has ran 126 miles in a month to thank the UHNM staff who cared for her parents over Christmas. Stephanie Emery ran the 126 miles during February to express her gratitude to the staff on Ward 126 at Royal Stoke.

In December, Stephanie Emery’s life took an unexpected turn when both her Dad, 72-year-old Leslie and Mum Angela, 61, were admitted to Royal Stoke suffering from Covid-19 just days before Christmas. Over the following days her parents struggled with the illness at varying levels. On Christmas Day Stephanie got the call to come to the hospital as her Dad was deteriorating. She sat with her Dad at his bedside but he sadly lost his battle the next day after just four days on the ward.

Stephanie said: “As my dad was now classed as palliative care, I was now allowed to visit him. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was to witness when I got to the ward. I sat for hours painstakingly watching my dad battle for every breath, it was torture, he fought and he fought until inevitably he couldn’t fight anymore, and on Boxing Day he lost his battle. As if this wasn’t heart-breaking enough my mum still remained extremely poorly on the same ward as my dad with the same virus.”

Stephanie was then concerned her Mum may not pull through, especially if she knew about Dad’s passing. Amazingly, just three days after Dad passed away, Mum Angela was well enough to go home. She stayed with Stephanie for a few weeks as they helped support each other in their grief, and this allowed Stephanie to focus on getting her Mum back to health.

Speaking about her time spent on Ward 126, Stephanie said:  “The staff were so busy, you almost felt so guilty ringing them, but they were always so lovely and made time for you. When Dad passed, it broke my heart and I screamed for an hour and the nurse just stood with me. It must be so hard for the staff, the things they must have seen.”

“I wanted to do anything I could to help the hospital, especially Ward 126 as they looked after my mum so well after my dad died. They were brilliant, looking after both of my parents amazingly well, they cared, they watched, they listened. So I decided to run 126 miles during February for UHNM Charity, with all donations going to the ward which cared for my parents.”

Ward Sister Tracy Mellor said “Our team on Ward 126 are so proud of Steph for her phenomenal efforts to raise money for our patients. We fondly remember Mr and Mrs Burrows, and it was our pleasure to care for them both. The ward staff have supported Steph with her running, even assembling a small video to boost morale and to personally encourage her on the final day. We also raised money for her campaign as a team by walking 100,000 steps which we then donated to her online page, to help boost her fundraising. We can’t thank her enough!”

Stephanie has so far raised over £7,000. She added: “I have to have some meaning to all of this, for something good come from it all, and right now I need a focus in my life.”

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