The Wokingham Paper

Women in intensive care tackles marathon challenge for Cystic Fibrosis unit

A WOMAN with Cystic Fibrosis is determined to take on each challenge the condition has thrown at her to give back to a local hospital. 

Inspired by the London Marathon, Karen Peart has managed to raise over £1,500 with her 26 step challenge.

And she has raised the money for Cystic Fibrosis Care at Frimley Park hospital — all while being in intensive care.

Her husband Chris Peart, said: “Cystic fibrosis is something you’re born with and Karen always had problems with her chest but never found out what it was until later in life.

“It causes problems with the heart, diabetes and she had blood clots last year. She’s been struggling a lot since last year, the hypertension started to kick in which has left her breathless. 

“This year alone she’s only been home for about five weeks. We went away at Christmas and she fell ill in January, she came home on Valentines day and ended up having to go back into hospital the following Monday. 

“She was doing okay up until Monday, March, 23, when she had to go back in again due to low oxygen levels. 

“She hasn’t been able to have any visitors and she took a turn for the worse — but amazingly she has pulled through which has been really emotional.

“She’s still on a non-invasive ventilator, and does eight hours a day off it.”

Mr Peart said his wife was inspired to help other people even throughout her own recovery. 

“When she started to feel better, she started to think about what she could do to help others, which is typical Karen,” he said.

“She watched the news on the weekend that it was supposed to be the London Marathon and we started the Just Giving page. 

“She’s keen to help as much as she can. The care they give is unbelievable, the staff there become part of the family, the nurses, the doctors, the cleaners. And they need money to expand the unit. 

“A lot of people don’t understand the condition as they can look quite healthy a lot of the time, but it’s internal and they’re struggling a lot of the time. 

“There are no visits allowed until Covid-19 clears. I am so proud of her, she’s a fighter and that’s pulled her through and hopefully at some stage she will get home and stay well. 

“She’s been through a lot in the last few years but keeps battling on.”

And the initial aim to raise £260 was quickly surpassed.

“People have already given loads and been so generous,” said Mr Peart. “She wants to help as much as possible for the unit. If people want to donate, they are free to donate as much or little as they want because every little helps. 

“The support has really helped to keep Karen motivated, knowing that plenty of people are behind her.”

Providing regular updates on her Just Giving page, Karen wrote: “I’m so overwhelmed and very grateful for all your generosity. “It’s all a bit more of a challenge for me in hospital as all my exercises are tailored to suit my progress each day. Seeing all the donations makes it all worthwhile.”

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