28 January 2022

Winter walk to thank cardiac hospital staff

This January, Katie Jones from Southampton, plus five friends and family are taking on London’s winter walk in memory of her mum, Julie, a finance manager from Marchwood Junior School. Katie explains:

“My mum was an extremely well-loved lady in Totton. You couldn’t walk down the street without her stopping to have a chat with someone. Wherever she was, her infectious smile and laugh could immediately cheer up a room. Each and every day she made the life of those around her that little bit brighter.

Then in September 2021, my family experienced a weekend like no other.

On Friday 3rd September, after enjoying an evening out in Southampton with colleagues and friends, my mum became very unwell, suffering from shortness of breath and chest pains.

In a very short space of time, her condition deteriorated and her friends stayed with her while an ambulance was called. Immediately she was rushed to University Hospital Southampton where medical staff treated mum for what they thought was either a major heart attack or severe heart disease.

The doctors were incredible, and looking into everything to give mum the very best care and treatment they could. Due to the severity of her condition, they were preparing to send her to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for a heart transplant, however as mum’s condition continued to worsen, sadly there was nothing more that could be done.

My whole world was turned upside down in a matter of days.

Not only was she my mum, but she was my best friend and we had a really special bond that will always be irreplaceable. I feel like a piece of me is missing, and no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I will ever be able to replace that. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about mum.

The love and care that my family were shown by the staff was absolutely incredible, and the support towards both mum and us, as a family, was amazing.

I will never forget seeing one of the nurses wiping tears away from her eyes because she knew what mum meant to her family. The doctors and nurses went above and beyond and looked into every possible treatment in order to make mum better.

Although the outcome was not what anyone of us could have predicted, as a family we are so thankful for the commitment they showed in trying to help mum and make her feel comfortable.

I knew that I wanted to thank the hospital, but hadn’t found the courage or strength to do something.

Then in November, my wonderful friends came up with the idea of completing the London Winter Walk half marathon on 29 January in memory of mum.

She was such a lovely lady who lived every minute to the full, so this was our small way of giving back to the hospital that cared for her and supported our family. The staff at the hospital are incredible, they work tirelessly, and are dedicated to providing invaluable service to the community.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

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