The wife and son of a man left in a wheelchair by a serious illness are taking part in a gruelling fundraising challenge next month for the “phenomenal” Oswestry charity and its staff helping him regain his independence.
The mud run fundraising campaign was launched by Karen Schofield, Team Leader, at the Ethos bungalows in Oswestry. Personal Assistant Megan Edwards, Karen’s son Liam Rodway and client Peter Mitchell’s wife and son, Lynda and Christopher, all got on board as a way of helping the charity and raising awareness of all the hard work which goes into helping clients recover a good standard of living.
The team are fundraising for the Ethos Group, which is dedicated to helping people with life-changing physical disabilities enjoy independent lives. It provides adapted short-term accommodation and support, and helps them to find a permanent future home to suit their needs.
The charity supported Peter after he suffered a life-threatening abscess in his neck, crushing his spine which was also infected by sepsis, a type of blood poisoning. The cause has not been identified.
Peter, 53, fought back from the brink of death with the help of the spinal injury team at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital but was left without movement in his arms and legs. He was discharged in autumn last year to one of Ethos’s three bungalows, which are all managed by Karen, and is currently going through a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
Karen said: “I would like to thank everyone for joining me on the mud run and for their support. Peter is a wonderful client and we wish him well for the future.”
Karen, Megan, Liam, Lynda and Christopher will be tackling mud, hills, bogs, marsh land, lakes, river crossings, tunnels, walls, net crawls, water slides, trenches, head dunks, giant bales and more at the Shropshire Mud Run on Saturday 21 September at Eaton Mascott, near Shrewsbury.
They are aiming to raise £5,000 to buy a standing frame, to enable Ethos clients to stand with the support they need, and help with circulation, relieving pressure to hopefully prevent pressure sores, among other advantages.
Lynda, 50, said Ethos was amazing after Peter was discharged from hospital and couldn’t return to their home in Hope, Flintshire, as it was not suitable for a wheelchair, and the only other option was a nursing home.
She said: “We wanted to give something back for all the help we’ve had from Ethos.
“Ethos has given Peter his independence back. Karen is a God-send and all the personal assistants are amazing, they have gone above and beyond - and they have become friends.
“It was difficult to cope with what happened, and be a family, but with Ethos’s help we can be a family again. They’ve given us a future.
“I’m not a runner but I’m looking forward to doing the challenge for Ethos - and for Peter - his determination is unreal. At one point I was told he only had four hours to live - but now he has some movement in his arms and legs, although he is still in a wheelchair, and we’re looking for a suitable home in the Oswestry area.
“He’s come a long way and Pete will be cheering us on.”
Peter added: “When I was discharged from hospital I was worried about where I’d live and how I’d live - but I had no doubts when I came here - it’s fantastic.
“The support is phenomenal and I don’t know where I’d be if Ethos wasn’t here. It was my safety net.
“There is no other service like it, within the community, in the UK, but if it was available all over the country, the benefits would be unlimited.”
To make a donation and help the runners raise enough to purchase a standing frame, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/karen-schofield?utm_term=6Kv8QgVVR
For more information about the Ethos Group, please call 01691 404359, email [email protected] or visit www.ethosgroup.co.uk.