Having survived Necrotising Fasciitis (an incurable flesh eating disease), Leukaemia, sepsis, a stroke, a brain swell and a hip Disarticulated Amputation in 2018, Richard Barnes from Ilfracombe started to ride an exercise bike with one leg during lockdown and has set his sights on cycling 300km during July 2020 with the bike set on the highest difficulty level.
Richard said: ‘The reason I’m doing this is to give back to North Devon District Hospital, and in particular the ICU that saved my life so many times.
I walked into A&E on Sunday 10th June 2018 and was quickly diagnosed with Necrotising Fasciitis and a rare form of Leukaemia. I had emergency surgery right away and had my left leg amputated at the hip. With my blood pressure through the floor and fighting Sepsis and numerous other issues I finally came out of a coma after 2 weeks. Unfortunately a week later I had a rare brain swell (PRES) and a stroke and was induced into a deep coma for another week.
I wasn’t expected to survive the surgery, there were numerous times during my first coma that I wasn’t expect to make it and after my PRES my family were told there was no way back and spent a day saying their goodbyes.
Despite all this the Staff at the hospital and in truth NHS consultants all over the country (My illness was unique) never gave up on me. They did everything humanly possible to save me and succeeded. I off course had massive help in my recovery as well; I couldn’t swallow for 4 months after the stroke and of course there was the Chemo.
Thanks to them and my family I have my life back on track and I am absolutely enjoying the second chance I’ve been given. It seems to me the least I can do is try to raise a little money and help in any small way I can, after all I owe them everything.’
Over and Above supports the work of your local Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust by fundraising ‘Over and Above’ what the NHS is able to provide to make a real difference to patients, their families and the amazing staff that treat them. Josh Allan from Over and Above said, ‘Richard’s story is incredibly inspiring. We have no doubt he’ll exhibit more of his fighting spirit and determination to smash the challenge and raise lots of money for ICU. Thank you Richard and good luck!’
For more details or to sponsor Richard please visit his fundraising page http://www.justgiving.com/richard-barnes29
To find other ways to support Over and Above please visit www.overandabove.org.uk or contact a member of our fundraising team on 01271 311772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.