Haslemere resident Lucy O’Donnell who ran, cycled and swam her way to raising over £6,000 for Holy Cross Hospital, has visited the hospital to see for herself how her efforts will help patients.

In June, Lucy and 10 friends formed ‘Petarnella’s Pistons’ and as a team, they took part in the Haslemere Bumpy Triathlon to raise money for the hospital.

Explaining why they chose the charity, Lucy said: “We chose to support Holy Cross Hospital because of the incredible work it does to help people with severe disabilities. Many of its patients have suffered brain injury as result of a stroke or an accident – something that could happen to any of us at any time. The hospital’s team of specialist staff provide the highest level of treatment and care and give each person the best possible chance of improving their quality of life and preventing further deterioration in their condition.”

The hospital plans to use the money Lucy and her team raised to improve the way patients receive oxygen and suction therapy. Christopher Hinton, Chief Executive at Holy Cross Hospital explains: “Many of our patients need additional oxygen and suction as part of their care and treatment. We currently provide oxygen from cylinders, which is costly in terms of time and money and less than ideal for staff and patients. Suction is given via portable machines, which are vulnerable to damage.

“Thanks to Lucy’s donation, we hope to install piped oxygen and suction in patients’ rooms. This will be a much more efficient and sustainable system and by removing the need to use cylinders, patients’ rooms will feel homelier and comfortable too. I’m enormously grateful to Lucy and her friends for their efforts and to the many people who sponsored them.”

During her visit to the hospital, Lucy and Marcos Petarnella who was the team leader and personal trainer for Petarnella’s Pistons, were welcomed by staff and members of the Friends of Holy Cross. As a thank you, they were presented with a certificate and heard how the oxygen and suction project will help patients.

Lucy’s Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/fundraising/PetarnellasPistons) is still open to donations. The total raised so far, including Gift Aid, is nearly £6,500. “It’s really easy to donate and is such a great cause, please consider giving to help us boost the total for Holy Cross’s patients,” says Lucy. Lucy and friends completed the Bumpy Triathlon, a sprint event featuring a 200 metre swim, 20 kilometre cycle ride and 5 kilometre run, on 5 June going through the South Downs National Park and Haslemere Leisure Centre.

At any one time, one or more of patients at Holy Cross will require ventilation and most patients need oxygen therapy from time to time. Holy Cross Hospital can currently accommodate eight ventilated patients and has about 15 patients using oxygen regularly.

See Lucy O’Donnell’s Just Giving page for more information.

Picture: From left – Christopher Hinton, Chief Executive, with Lucy O’Donnell and Marcos Petarnella.