Two sisters trekked the Yorkshire Three Peaks, raising nearly £3,000 for Bay Hospitals Charity, to say thank you for the care given to their dad at Royal Lancaster Infirmary. 

Amy Merckel and Hannah Simpson were joined by family members and friends for the hike over Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent in April. 

They were inspired to raise funds for Bay Hospitals Charity after their dad Andy Simpson was treated for a serious case of sepsis at the hospital last summer. 

Amy said: “Last August our Dad was rushed to hospital with a tooth abscess that had turned into a serious case of sepsis.  

“Within a couple of hours of being admitted to hospital, Dad was undergoing emergency surgery to save his life.  

“Consultants said this was the worst case of Sepsis they’d seen in a long time, and left any longer (just a couple of hours), then Dad wouldn’t have made it.” 

Andy spent 10 weeks in Intensive Care and underwent four surgeries to remove infected tissue. As a result of the infection, he suffered severe facial nerve damage and required a tracheostomy, leaving him unable to eat, drink or speak.  

In October, Andy moved to Ward 35 for rehabilitation, with daily physiotherapy to help him sit and stand and eventually walk again. 

Amy said: “We took on this challenge to say thank you to the amazing teams that work for our NHS. The teams on both ICU and Ward 35 have not only cared for and supported Dad, but for our family too. They are amazing, and this is our way of saying thank you.  

“We started with an original target of raising £1,000 but the response was phenomenal and we smashed the target within a couple of weeks.  

“The donations continued to flood in and we finished with a total of £2,895. We didn’t think in a million years we’d raise such an incredible amount of money, but we were so grateful for everyone’s generosity.” 

Amy started planning the hike in January, but later discovered she was pregnant. After discussions with her GP and midwife she was given the all-clear to go ahead with the challenge while four months into her pregnancy.    

She said: “The cherry on the cake was reaching the end of the walk and seeing that Dad had come to meet us at the finish line.” 

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment. 

Funds raised by Amy and Hannah will be split between the hospital’s intensive care unit and Ward 35, to be used as required to support staff and patient care. 

Head of Charities and Fundraising Suzanne Lofthouse said: “We want to say a huge thank you to Amy, Hannah and all of their family and friends for making such an amazing contribution to our charity. 

“Their story is such an important reminder of why we do what we do at Bay Hospitals Charity.  

“Andy is still with us thanks to the care and dedication of the incredible teams at the RLI. It may be all in a day’s work for them, but Amy and Hannah have shown just how much the staff at UHMBT are appreciated and loved.” 

To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or email [email protected] 

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