King's Mill Hospital pandemic hero to cycle length of country for brain-tumour charity
One of the NHS’s Covid-19 heroes, a doctor at King’s Mill Hospital, is to cycle the length of Britain in support of a colleague’s mum who is living with a rare brain tumour.
Medic Andrew Goddard, 30, will be joined on the John O’Groats-to-Land’s End-marathon, spanning 603 miles, by that colleague, Will Phipps, who is also a doctor but works at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Both have spent the duration of the coronavirus pandemic working in intensive care and acute medicine, and helping to save lives.
Will, 29, said: “The last year-and-a-half has been tough for myself and Andrew. We have been at the sharp end of the pandemic.
"Every day, we have been looking after some of the sickest patients, while under incredible staffing pressures.
"The level of physical and emotional pressure has been hard to process.”
Now the duo have turned their attention to Will’s mum, Anita Phipps, 59, herself a former nurse, who has had a rare tumour for ten years and suffers from crippling headaches and balance issues.
She has undergone multiple operations to deal with the poor drainage of fluid that covers her brain and spine.
Will said: “When mum was diagnosed, it was a big shock for the family. Mum had always been very fit and healthy, working as a paediatric nurse in a children’s hospice.
"It was very strange to see someone who I have always relied on need help with day-to-day things.
"But throughout all the pain, surgery and ongoing worry, she has remained upbeat and stoic, approaching life with compassion and joy.”
Will and Andrew will set off on their 12-day cycling marathon on Saturday, July 21, and hope to raise £2,500 for The Brain Tumour Charity, so patients like Anita can receive the same “amazing” medical care.
Will continued: “Andrew and I have been riding our bikes together since medical school but have never undertaken anything like this. It is a massive step up for both of us.
"I think we are just about ready. But raising money for the charity will be our biggest motivator.
"Knowing that good will be achieved with every penny we raise will get us over the hills and through the rain to the finish line.”
Gina Almond, of the charity, said: “We wish them the very best.”