Bradford Royal Infirmary staff are celebrating raising thousands of pounds for charity after saddling up for a gruelling 300-mile cycle ride.
The ‘magnificent seven’ who cycled from London to Paris in a bid to boost funds for Bradford Hospitals Children’s Charity were: Consultants Beccy Bardgett (Paediatrics), Sarah Jowett (Gastroenterology); Sue Calvert (Gynaecology); Cord Spilker (Neurology) and Farzana Khan (Emergency Medicine), along with Medical Secretary, Linda Lawson and Review Manager, Louise Clarkson.
They were joined by members of their family and friends, who are supporters of the charity: Mark Christopher, Tim Robinson, Lincoln Jowett, Angelica Santiago, Deborah Hardy, James Simpson and Kirsty Wild.
The epic ride took four days, finishing under the shadow of the French capital’s famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, and has raised more than £10,000 so far – with more money yet to come in.
Together the sterling efforts of the ‘fabulous fourteen’ will make a huge difference to the babies, children and young people who become inpatients of BRI, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – as well as their families.
The journey was not without a couple of glitches though, with two cyclists involved in accidents along the way and suffering injuries.
Unfortunately, on Day One, just before the cyclists reached Dover, Consultant for Emergency Medicine, Farzana Khan skidded, falling from her bike and cutting her forehead, which she ably patched up herself using Steri-Strips and her mobile phone as a mirror!
She said: “We were at a fork in the road with a turn to the left and then an immediate turn to the right. Unfortunately, the call to turn right came a bit too late and I turned too sharply. Before I knew it, I was skidding on gravel and bouncing off my bike. I was a bit shaken but managed to carry on.”
For Medical Secretary, Linda Lawson, the ride ended on Day Three, in the town of Compiegne, when she was involved in an unavoidable collision with another rider. It resulted in a fracture to her collarbone and cuts needing stitches. But happily she was able to be at the finishing line to cheer on her team-mates and she is now slowly recovering.
Paediatric Consultant, Beccy Bardgett said: “It was a fantastic experience and we certainly had one or two challenges along the way; not least the unfortunate accidents and weather. On Day Two as we arrived in Calais, there was a level three weather warning issued with people being told to stay indoors. The roads were flooded and covered in mud and debris and there were lightning strikes too so the organisers changed our route to try and avoid it. This meant we had some miles to catch up on during Days Three and Four.
“But everywhere we cycled the French were clapping and cheering us on and shouting ‘allez, allez’ (go, go.) At one point a French policeman in his car even encouraged us by calling out to us via the tannoy. And as we came up the Champs Elysees, the atmosphere was fantastic.
“On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank everyone for all the generous sponsorship and messages of support that we have received.”