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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse's Blog

Date of release: 25 June 2021

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

For this blog I want as many people as possible to show their support for a former patient doing a special charity walk this weekend – all 26 miles of it!

Ian’s Walk this Sunday is helping to boost funds for Walsall Manor Hospital’s Critical Care Rehabilitation Team.

Covid-19 survivor Ian Hawkins has organised it in partnership with Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity. It starts and finishes at the hospital, going to and from Chasewater via the canal network, from 7.30am this Sunday. Ian is hoping to raise £10,000 for equipment to help the team – on top of £10,000 he has already donated to the team.

Ian, aged 58, was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital on 29 March 2020 after developing Covid-19 symptoms and experiencing breathing difficulties. Within 24 hours he was placed on full ventilation and over the next few weeks he suffered pneumonia, sepsis, multiple-organ failure and a secondary bacterial infection.

After 72 days, he was able to go home, on 9 June 2020, and has been focusing on his recovery and looking to the future ever since. He is full of praise for the Critical Care Rehabilitation team and the work it does. 

He said: “The work they do to get you back living life as best you can is amazing.”

Around 80 staff and relatives will be joining the father-of-two.

Ian said: “My goal is to walk all 26 miles and we will be joined by Walsall Healthcare staff, but I’d like to invite others to support us too. They don’t need to do all 26 miles; people may want to join in for a couple of miles and it would be fantastic if former patients came along either to take part or cheer us on. There are pubs along the way and it would also be good to show our support for local businesses.”

Latest News: Chief Nurse's Blog - Ian Hawkins
Covid-19 survivor Ian Hawkins, preparing for his 26-mile walk


Over the last 12 months more than 250 patients have been supported by the team and each one of them has their own story to tell about their recovery journey. Some are Covid-19 survivors like Ian but the team supports all long-term patients who have spent a period of time in the Critical Care Unit. The team uses a host of approaches to cover both physical and psychological support, involving staff in Walsall’s hospital and community services and the patient’s own family and friends.

Senior Sister Xana Marriott said: “We are so pleased to see Ian continuing to recover after he was so seriously ill and feel so humbled he wants to recognise the team’s work by doing this walk. It’s brilliant news that more than 80 are taking part. If people can’t join in they are still welcome to cheer everyone on at the start as we leave the hospital or make a donation.”

Ian said: “The Rehabilitation Team is such an asset to the hospital, helping Covid survivors and other patients who have been in Critical Care. From my personal point of view, everyone involved has really helped get me back on my feet to enjoy the life that’s important to me and my family after such a rough time with the virus last year.”

More details on Ian’s Walk can be found on Ian’s Just Giving page and I’d like to say a huge good luck to everyone taking part or supporting this fantastic effort.

Take care,
Ann-Marie

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham