Making a splash for Guy’s
Anna Cameron and her children, Amelia and Hugh, have been fundraising for Guy’s Hospital in memory of their beloved dad and grandad, Roy Thomson, who sadly died from leukaemia in August 2016.
Following a collection at Roy’s funeral, the children took on the incredible challenge of swimming the length of the English Channel – a whopping 22 miles – to raise the awesome amount of £1,066 in total.
Roy was referred to Guy’s Hospital in April 2016 after being first diagnosed with leukaemia three years earlier. Unfortunately it was too late in the progression for any chance of cure, but his condition was managed under the expertise of Professor Claire Harrison.
Roy suffered an infection which made his health deteriorate further. The staff worked tirelessly to get him well enough to be able to spend a short period of time back at home with his family, before he died at Guy’s on 26 August 2016.
Anna says she feels that the treatment her dad had at Guy’s was incomparable to any other care he received.
‘My father’s patient-centred care was carried out with respect, inclusion and dignity by an expert team that worked together,’ she says. ‘We felt that all that could be done was being done and trusted everyone there. The palliative care team at the end were also amazing.’
Remembering special moments
Anna and her children, 13-year-old Amelia and 11-year-old Hugh, chose to support the Haematology department and the Breathe partnership at the hospital, as they had such positive experiences of both.
Anna recalls a classical piano concert that was a particularly special moment for her dad, one of many which take place at the hospital run by Breathe Arts Health Research in partnership with Guy's and St Thomas'.
‘My father enjoyed an amazing concert in the Atrium one afternoon,’ recalls Anna. ‘We were all inspired by these wellbeing events available for patients and visitors. They seemed to be a great example of how hospitals can care for their patients in ways that support the holistic needs of the patients.’
The Big Swim
Amelia and Hugh’s ‘Channel Swim Challenge’ took place throughout the month of November 2016 in their local swimming pool. The determined pair swam 1,416 lengths between them, the equivalent of 22 miles – incredible!
‘We wanted to do it because it was a challenge for ourselves and we wanted to do something for our Grandad,’ say the children of their achievement.
‘The fun parts were swimming and feeling pride after we finished, and the hard part was keeping going,’ says Hugh. ‘Lots of family came to cheer us on for our last session as we completed the last length.’
Amelia adds, ‘We loved watching our total growing, which exceeded our target of £250. We hope that it will help Breathe to continue to put on events at hospitals like those our Grandad enjoyed attending, and that it will help the Haematology department to continue their good work.’
Continued support in loving memory
As if that wasn’t fantastic enough, the family plans to continue their support of Guy’s and St Thomas’ in memory of Roy.
‘It is devastating to lose someone close,’ says Anna. ‘Fundraising in my father’s memory has given us a positive focus. It has been a lovely thing to do.’
Fundraising in memory of a loved one can be a generous way to honour them, with the positive focus described by Anna. Find out more about celebrating somebody’s life in this way.