A father is raising money for St Thomas’ Hospital after a specialist team rushed all the way to Wales to save his son’s life, writes Jessie Kolvin.
Tom Boyce, a student at Cardiff University, referred himself to hospital in Wales after a bout of tiredness and breathlessness worsened overnight.
The last thing he remembers is being put in a wheelchair with an oxygen mask.
Pneumonia had led to sepsis, weakening Tom’s heart and lungs to an almost fatal extent.
When his parents, David and Cath, arrived at the hospital, they were told that Tom was unlikely to live through the night.
In a final attempt to save Tom’s life, the hospital contacted the specialist ECMO team at St Thomas’.
ECMO is a treatment that temporarily takes over the work of the heart and lungs, allowing the patient’s organs to recover.
The ECMO team came to Cardiff that night, connected Tom to the ECMO machine, and brought him back to St Thomas’.
A few weeks later Tom was discharged. He is now on his way to a full recovery.
To raise money for the team that saved his son’s life, David Boyce will walk from the University Hospital Wales in Cardiff to St Thomas’, a distance of 171 miles.
Tom will walk alongside his father on the first and last days.
Mr. Boyce explained why he was inspired to do the walk: “I wanted to say thank you to the team and came up with the idea of the walk when Tom was in intensive care.
“We were overwhelmed by his wonderful care and felt very safe in the hands of the team.
“I would love to raise £10,000 to contribute to ECMO equipment, resources and training and hope this will help to save other peoples’ lives.”
Tom, now well enough to restart his degree, said: “I’m eternally grateful to the team at St Thomas’. I received unbelievable care – I couldn’t fault it.
“The whole experience has made me value people more, especially my family, and I’ll miss them when I go back to university.”
If you would like to donate, you can visit Mr. Boyce’s fundraising page here.