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Local dad to embark on 100 mile trek to raise money for Holly children’s ward

by Debbie Manning | Dec 08, 2016

Huntingdonshire resident, Jonathan Smith, plans to walk 100 miles from Hunstanton to Lowestoft in 2017 to raise money for the Holly children’s ward run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Jonathan explains:“My son was taken very ill the summer before last.  After two weeks of having an every day cold, followed by sinusitis, he woke up one day with his left eye so purple and swollen he could hardly open it.   He was rushed to hospital andDreamdrops Jonathan Smith Mount Snowdon diagnosed with orbital cellulitis putting him at high risk of blood poisoning, losing his eye or hearing or, even worse, meningitis.  After two weeks of intensive drug treatment, he thankfully recovered.  Having spent every day and night by his side and feeling totally helpless, I decided to raise money to buy more toys, computers and iPads having seen how those already on Holly ward provided a welcome distraction,  enabling the kids to just be children again, irrespective of their illness or condition.   Over two days in Summer 2017, I will be walking nearly 100 miles continuously, day and night, from Hunstanton to Lowestoft including along the Norfolk and England coastal paths.”

Fund raising for the children’s Holly ward is nothing new to Jonathan explains Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the Dreamdrops children’s charity:“Jonathan is an inspiration.  In 2016 he completed a 2 day sponsored training weekend including a night trek of Mount Snowdon, used to train those attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  With minimal sleep, he reached the summit at 4.30 a.m. on the second day.   How he did it, I’m not sure, particularly as he had been unable to train for six weeks prior to the climb due to a back injury.”

Jonathan added:“I have seen how something as simple as a common cold can turn into something that nearly cost us dearly.  My son’s illness and hospitalisation was so stressful, particularly as my wife was also heavily pregnant at the time, and I really cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough.  Whilst the challenges I have faced have been daunting, raising funds is incredibly rewarding and I’d encourage others to do so; it doesn’t have to involve physical challenges, just donating whatever you can afford makes a difference.  I visited the ward recently and it was great to see how the money I have raised so far as been spent on toys and equipment and to hear how the funds I hope to raise with the coastal walk would be used.”Dreamdrops Jonathan Smith and Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes, Matron for acute children’s services said “Jonathan has not only raised over £700 himself, he has inspired others to do so.  He persuaded Liverpool Football Club and the band UB40 to donate items for auction and Tesco’s coffee shop in Huntingdon raised £250 for us having been approached by Jonathan.   Everyone on the ward is very grateful to him and the toys and equipment he has funded are making a real difference to the children we care for during their time on the ward.  We wish him every success with his 100 mile trek!”

If you would like to donate to Jonathan’s fund-raising coastal walk visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Smith57


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