Dr Mike Bloomfield has reached St Christopher’s Hospice in London. He’s half-way on his ‘virtual’ 500km walk over 100 days to raise money for City Hospice.
Dr Mike told us
After walking 5km a day for 50 days I have “arrived” at St. Christopher`s Hospice, Sydenham, London. 250Km from Cardiff and half way through my Challenge.
I will never forget my visit to St Christopher`s in 1972 as a medical student. I was shown around by Dr Cicely Saunders, a truly remarkable lady who was pioneering a new way of caring for patients with serious life-limiting illnesses. She had first trained as a nurse, then took a degree at Oxford to work as a social worker. However, during her work she became increasingly concerned that for patients where no further treatment was possible they often were neglected by the health service. So she trained as a doctor and qualified age 39.
I was impressed that day at St Christopher`s at how the patients were her priority. Their care was based on kindness and compassion combined with state of the art medical expertise. This is summed up in one of her well known principles :
“You matter because you are you and you matter to the last moment of your life
It was that day at St. Christopher`s that inspired me to ensure that one day hospice care would be available in Cardiff. Fortunately, during my times training to become a G.P. I met others who felt the same. In particular my mentor and friend, Prof. Nigel Stott. In 1984 we registered the charity, with the aim to provide specialist hospice care to patients and their families in their own homes.
In 2005 we opened our first purpose built hospice centre in Cardiff.
“It took us 21 years to achieve this which is exactly the same time it took Cicely Saunders to build St. Christopher`s. Another remarkable coincidence is that Dame Cicely Saunders died on 14th July 2005 the same day that the Prince of Wales opened our Centre. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work at City Hospice. The clinical team led by Dr Margred Capel ensure the people of Cardiff receive exceptional end of life and palliative care”.
Having been welcomed “virtually” at St Christopher’s by Amanda Mayo, Director of Care Dr Mike is now setting off on the second half of his 500km walk over 100 days on his way back to Cardiff. Good luck!
To read more about Dr Mike’s challenge click here