Captions:1. Vicky Woollard.
2. Pictured at the start of the London 2 Brighton Challenge are (left to right) Steve Dixon, Jon Buss, Jo Wood, Steve Wood and Mark Adams.
24 July 2017
The boyfriend and friends of a 45-year-old woman who died in Colchester General Hospital have raised almost £18,000 for the unit that cared for her.
Vicky Woollard’s boyfriend, Mark Adams, and six of their friends – known as Team VDubs – will on Thursday (27 July) present the Critical Care Unit with the £14,000 transport ventilator they have paid for.
It is the unit’s second transport ventilator and will be used by patients when they go off the unit for diagnostic tests, such as scans, or when they are transferred to another hospital. Staff on the unit are now considering how they can spend the remaining £4,000 in a way that will benefit patients the most.
Vicky was living with her mother in Clacton when she was admitted to Colchester General Hospital. She was on a ward for a day and then spent the last week of her life on the Critical Care Unit, where she died on 30 June last year.
Mark, who lives in Ipswich, said: “Vicky’s mother, brother, aunt and uncle and all her friends were very pleased with the care she received in Critical Care.
“She was looked after with love, empathy and total professionalism, and we were all kept well-informed, including when there were change-overs in shift.
“Afterwards, I wanted to do something for the unit and learned that it was keen to buy a transport ventilator, so that was what we set our sights on.”
Vicky worked as an account manager for an Ipswich energy company. Mark is a part-time history student at the University of Suffolk and also works part-time in marketing.
The majority of the money was raised when Mark, 56, and four friends took part in and completed the London 2 Brighton Challenge on 27-28 May, a 100km (62½ mile) walk from the capital to the coast.
Mark raised £10,400, while his neighbour Steve Wood, headteacher of Clifford Road Primary School, Ipswich, and Steve’s sister, Jo, raised £1,542 and £500 respectively. Mark and Vicky’s friends Jon Buss and Steve Dixon did the walk, raising money for a national cancer charity.
Their friends Heather Bush and Carl Clark took part in the Brighton Marathon and 25-mile Orwell Run respectively, raising £175 and £300.
Mark’s god-daughter Jessica Rawson, aged 18, who has just left Framlingham College, raised £1,604 after persuading fellow students to adopt the Critical Care Unit as its fundraising cause for a term.
Money has been raised in other ways, including in the form of donations made at Vicky’s funeral and as Gift Aid. Vicky was a Vice President of Nacton Cricket Club which in early May held a VW fun day cricket match, featuring a Nacton XI and a Woollard XI, that raised £865.
Jane Murphy, Matron for Critical Care, said she believed that the £18,000 was the biggest single donation that the unit had received during the five years she had worked there.
“We’re enormously grateful that Mr Adams, along with his friends and god-daughter, has raised this phenomenal sum of money for our unit,” she said.
“This ventilator will improve patient safety greatly when transferring patients around the hospital for scans, or to another hospital entirely. It is through generosity such as this that we are able to buy such advanced equipment.”
Mrs Murphy added that the unit already had one portable ventilator but the new one was a much more advanced model.
All the money has been donated to the critical care unit fund run by Colchester Hospitals Charity (CoHoC)