Colin McAuley suffered a serious head injury after coming off his bike during the triathlon on Sunday 20 May, and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at the QMC. His partner, Holly Kelly, is hoping to raise £10,000 to thank the staff at the unit for all they did for her and Colin, who has now been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which is closer to the couple’s home.
Holly, 31, said: “Being on intensive care for both the patient and their loved ones is just like being on a rollercoaster ride. It’s emotionally, mentally and physically draining. However, the team in intensive care are with you every step of the way, helping you over the next hurdle.”
The couple are from Tamworth and had travelled to Nottingham for the Outlaw Triathlon.
Holly explained: “Colin has always enjoyed cycling and then took to running as well. He has done a few sub 3 hour marathons and he wanted another challenge, so he started taking part in triathlons. He is always wanting to better himself and is always moving on to the next challenge!”
She says Colin, 49, had been shocked and delighted when he went to register on the day of the Outlaw Triathlon and discovered that he’d been selected for the Elite category.
Holly has now decided to follow in Colin’s footsteps by taking on as many sporting events as she can, in order to raise money for Nottingham Hospitals Charity. She has already taken part in the Great Midlands Fun Run and the Big QMC Abseil, and has signed up to the Asda 10k on 12 August and Robin Hood Half Marathon 30 September, as well as other running events throughout the summer. She has also taken on Colin’s place in the Market Bosworth Middle Distance Triathlon on 22 July, and has set up a relay with two of his friends, with Holly taking on the running and Colin’s friends completing the swim and the cycle ride.
Holly has set up a Justgiving page entitled ‘What Would Col Do?’ and explained: “I’ve called the page ‘What Would Col Do?’ as Col inspires me every day to be more daring, challenge myself and not always just play it safe. We should all be more like Col in life. He grabs challenges and thrives on them and whilst he is recovering in QMC and forever more, I hope to be more like Col.”
Word about Colin has already spread among the sporting community, and athletes including Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill have shown their support for him by sending his ‘get well’ messages, after hearing about his condition through friends.
Holly said: “If anyone is going to get through something like this, it’s him. He is so resilient and determined and he has such a fighting spirit, both mentally and physically.”
Naomi Walters, Senior Community Fundraiser at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “What Holly is doing is amazing, and we are so grateful to her for committing so much time and energy to fundraise for the Intensive Care Unit.
“We have been really touched to hear from her all about Colin, who sounds like an equally amazing individual, and everyone at Nottingham Hospitals Charity is hoping that he makes a speedy recovery.”
To sponsor Holly and help raise money for the Intensive Care Unit, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/whatwouldcoldo