KGH intensive care staff to take on muddy challenge for Kettering hospice

A very worthy cause

Monday, 8th March 2021, 11:29 am
Some of the staff taking part in the challenge.
Some of the staff taking part in the challenge.

A KGH intensive care worker and some of her colleagues are taking on a muddy challenge to raise money for the town's Cransley Hospice later this year.

Deputy sister Jo Lonsdale and many other staff members have signed up for the Mudnificent 7, which sees entrants take on a 7km muddy course full of obstacles.

After a year like no other on the Covid frontline, Jo said she recognised that those at Cransley Hospice would also be feeling the strain and wanted to do something that not only gave her team something positive to look forward to, but something that would benefit the hospice too.

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The hospice already has a special place in Jo’s heart as she was once a student nurse there, but it was in 2019 when Jo’s dad Barry was admitted to the hospice that she experienced the very special care of the team at Cransley from the other side.

Barry was taken ill very suddenly when he collapsed on October 31, 2019, and was admitted to hospital. Initially, doctors thought he had gallstones but after an investigative scan, the devastating diagnosis was that he had extensive tumours along his spine, lung, liver and stomach. Barry’s health deteriorated quickly and he was admitted to Cransley Hospice for rehab just three weeks later. He died on November 28.

Jo said: “He was admitted to Cransley Hospice in late November for rehab and although he had never come to terms with his illness, after only a couple of days it was clear that he was deteriorating rapidly. He had been due to have surgery in December, but the aggressive cancer had spread so quickly and he was in a lot of pain.

“Within just a day of him being admitted to the hospice the team had controlled the pain for him.

“He even got to enjoy cider - the nurses would get it for him and give it to him on swabs because he couldn’t swallow. They even went out and got him ice cream when he wanted it.

“He adored my puppy Hedley and they let me bring him in so that he could sit on the bed with him.

“At the end, he was so peaceful and the staff were amazing, not just with him but with my mum and the family too. The way they cared made me so proud to be a nurse.

“At the moment with Covid it’s tough and I understand how hard this will be on the staff at the hospice too. On ICU we pride ourselves on giving the best holistic individualised care and I and others have personally witnessed this at Cransley where they go above and beyond. We feel that Cransley is so important, as are the staff there that we all want to do our little bit to help.

"Times are difficult and whilst ICU has struggled at times with 12 hour shifts in full PPE and having to open up another ICU within the hospital to cope with admissions, we are aware if we are flagging staff-wise then so are our colleagues in Cransley. We want to shout out for what a fantastic job they are also doing during these crazy times, which I don’t think is recognised as much as it should be.”

Jo’s compassion has inspired her team-mates to sign up for the challenge on August 7 to raise money for the hospice.

She added: “It has definitely lifted a mood on the unit thinking of an event to look forward to. We want to be out of PPE and into that mud!

“Our support is teamwork for all and to raise funds for a fantastic place. There’s a lot in the press about the hospitals but you don’t hear anything about the hospices and how they are which is why I wanted to do something positive.”

Many of the team will be covering their registration fees themselves so anything they fundraise will be for Cransley Hospice.

The team have set a target of £3,000 and have already raised £1,000. To donate visit the JustGiving page at