Former coronavirus patient raises more than £25,000 for Fife Health Charity

Picture: NHS Fife

A former coronavirus patient has raised more than £25,000 for the Fife Health Charity.

Three departments at NHS Fife are set to benefit thanks to the efforts of Niall Williams. 

The Intensive Care Unit and the Physiotherapy Department at Kirkcaldy's Victoria Hospital, along with the Sir George Sharp Unit in Cameron Hospital in Leven, which specialises in neurological rehabilitation, will share £25,444 to support staff and patients within both facilities in the coming months and years.

A fit and active person with no underlying health issues, Niall, from Dalgety Bay, caught Covid-19 in March 2020 when he was 48 years old.

Hospitalised at the end of the same month due to the impact of the virus, the Explorer Scout leader subsequently spent 95 days in intensive care at Victoria Hospital.

During that time, he suffered multiple complications as a result of the infection, even spending an extended period in an induced coma.

This led to lack of mobility and inability to do basic tasks like moving, walking, talking and eating once he regained consciousness. 

Following his discharge from intensive care, Niall spent some time in Ward 43 at Victoria Hospital.

He was transferred to the Sir George Sharp Unit, where he spent three more months undergoing a range of specialised rehabilitation therapies to help recovery, regain strength and start the process of rebuilding his life. 

Niall said: "I wanted to show my appreciation and give back to the NHS that ultimately saved my life.

"Challenge 95 was born, where I challenged myself and friends to do something relating to the number of days I spent in ICU.  

"I challenged myself to walk 95 miles in 95 days.

"This was a real challenge for me, as when I left hospital, I was unable to walk unaided. 

"I also wanted to do something that would help me appreciate just how long 95 days is." 

Family, friends, neighbours, fellow Scouts and others of all ages were inspired to help with fundraising efforts.

The creative and ingenious challenges included completing the Five Ferry Challenge and cycling 95 miles, doing a daily drawing for 95 days, chopping 9.5cm of hair to donate to a wig charity and learning to tie 95 knots.

One of Niall’s favourite challenges, a pledge by his three-year-old niece to jump into 95 puddles in a month, turned out to being particularly challenging as May 2021 was uncharacteristically dry for Scotland! 

Mark McGeachie, Director for the Fife Health Charity, said: "On behalf of the Fife Health Charity, I would like to thank Niall for his extremely kind and generous donation, and offer my congratulations on such an incredible fundraising achievement. 

"Niall’s donation will certainly be put to good use, enabling us to fund enhancements to the care we provide to patients when they are at their most vulnerable, and indeed to better support their families and those around them."

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