By Holly Kelly, Nottingham Hospitals Charity supporter
On Sunday May 20th 2018 my partner Colin was taking part in a triathlon in Nottingham. It was a half distance triathlon which meant he had to do a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a half marathon. He was excited and apprehensive as he had been selected for the Elite category and had been given a Gold Swimming Cap at registration the day before. He was hoping for a PB as he informed me it was a ‘fast and flat’ course. We saw him come out of the water, get on his bike at transition and waved him off ready for his 56 mile bike ride.
Col had an accident whilst out on the bike course where he came off his bike and suffered a head injury. Right now as I am typing he is currently in Intensive Care at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. We are on day 11 and each day I am amazed by the care shown by the staff on the unit. Nothing is too much trouble and they really are shining stars. I leave the unit every night comfortable in the knowledge that I know Col will be in the safest of hands.
Being on intensive care for both the patient and their loved ones is just like being on a rollercoaster ride. One day you have a positive day where you think you are moving forwards and the next you are being told bad news from a consultant or Col takes a backward step with an infection. It’s definitely a case of one step forward two back but we’ve come to expect that and to focus on being happy with the step forward rather than being upset at the step back. The team also prepare us for ups and downs so when it happens we try and take it in our stride.
It’s emotionally, mentally and physically draining and never have I been in a situation where the outcome is so unknown and out of our control. However, the team in intensive care are with you every step of the way helping you over the next hurdle – being a nurse, doctor, surgeon, consultant, neurologist, pharmacist, nutritionist or family liaison but also a shoulder to cry on and talk to and those familiar faces you see when you walk into the hospital and onto the ward not sure how the day is going to pan out just make it that little bit easier.
I tell them about Col, I tell them about his zest for life and competitive streak. I tell them about our holidays, our memories, show them our photos hanging up on his photo line and tell them of his sheer determination. I tell them he is a fighter and never lets anything get the better of him and he is going to be the same in this situation too. Anyone who knows him will say the same.
Until something like this happens to you, you think it’s one of those things that just happens on TV or to somebody else or just simply something you don’t need to worry about. The truth is you may need the help of intensive care at any moment. Life could change in a split second just like ours has and even what we thought would be a great and memorable day out at a triathlon event with Col doing what he loves and does best, we end up needing to rely on the team at Queen’s Medical Centre Nottingham to make him better again.
I am going to be doing fundraising events throughout the summer as our way of saying THANK YOU to the Intensive Care team at QMC. As soon as Col wakes up I can’t wait to tell him what I’ve been up to. I also want to thank everyone for all the support, outpouring of love and best wishes shown to Col throughout this journey.
To support Holly’s fundraising please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/whatwouldcoldo