“We don’t know what the future holds, but we can’t thank Southmead Hospital enough”
In the early hours of 11 May, Josh was woken up to the shouts of his mum calling for help. His dad, Steve, had collapsed and was seriously ill. After being treated on-scene by paramedics, Steve was rushed to Southmead Hospital, where doctors in the Emergency Department put him in an induced coma.
Steve was taken for emergency surgery, where Neurosurgeons inserted to a drain the excess fluid that had built up, which had caused him to collapse. After he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Josh and his mum got to see his dad for the first time.
“It was really difficult seeing my dad so ill, but we knew he was in the best place possible. He is such a strong character and throughout my life has always supported me and been there for me, so just being able to hold his hand and talk to him while he was recovering from his surgery meant so much.
“We didn’t have any answers at this point, and my dad was still in a coma, but the staff were so kind to us, and explained everything they were doing to keep him safe while his body was recovering.
“The biggest thing that I remember was my dad coming out his coma, and his first words were “Happy Birthday Josh!” Seeing him go from being unresponsive to to wishing me a Happy Birthday is something I’ll never forget.”
After more tests, Steve was diagnosed with a very rare kind of brain tumour, with less than a hundred cases world-wide. He had a major operation on his brain to remove one of two tumours which were found and was home within three weeks.
Josh wanted to give back to the hospital and decided to take on a challenge that would not only push himself but reflect the long journey his dad made – with the help of teams at Southmead Hospital – to get home. For Josh, the 200-mile Land’s End to Southmead Hospital seemed like the perfect challenge.
“I couldn’t just sit back and not thank the hospital in my own way – I just knew I had to raise money for such an amazing hospital.
“The ride was amazing. I definitely didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I loved every pedal.”
With 70 miles to go, Josh had to dig deep to push forward and was supported by his friends, family and girlfriend along the way. He raised an incredible £2,834 for the hospital.
“Arriving to Southmead after 200 miles was definitely the highlight of the ride. It was where this tough, emotional journey had started, and being there knowing how well my dad had recovered was a really profound moment.”
Now home for over five months, Steve has recovered well, and is, according to Josh, mostly back to his old self.
“My dad is currently being monitored and will have regular tests and consultations to keep an eye on everything. Every single person we met at Southmead Hospital was just so caring. From the moment we arrived in the Emergency Department to the moment dad was discharged, everyone was just amazing. While we don’t know what the future holds, we are so grateful to everyone at the hospital. I honestly can’t thank them enough for saving my dad’s life.”