Money raised for lifesaving hospital unit

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A Heysham power station worker has completed a tough Iron Man event after being inspired to raise money for Lancaster’s Intensive Care Unit.

Mark Hammond, 35, completed an exhausing 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike race and a 26.2 mile run.

Mark, from Lancaster, raised the money after the son of work colleague Pete Turnbull, 48, fell seriously ill.

Diabetic Luke Turnbull, 25, - whose story was featured in The Lancaster Guardian two weeks ago - suffered a sudden hypoglycaemia low blood sugar attack during his sleep.

Luke, of Rossall Road, Lancaster, was induced into a coma to try and help repair the damage and was artificially kept alive by determined doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. He came round and has now made a full recovery - getting engaged.

Speaking after handing over a cheque to the hospital for more than £1600, Mr Hammond, said: ““The reason I did it was because I work with Luke’s Dad and obviously we heard that his son had had a very bad time and his Dad had been through quite a lot.”

Luke’s Dad Pete, of Watery Lane, cannot thank the often-criticised NHS enough.

Mr Turnbull said: “The ICU team at RLI saved his life, the health professionals at the RLI and in the wider NHS have supported him in the return to a normal life. Our health service may not be perfect, but this is an example of what it does achive. He was not asked for his insurance policy details during treatment and he did not have to handover a credit card on the way out. It did not matter who he was or why he was there, he received the treatment his condition required - fantastic principles.”

Judith Read, Charity Co ordinator for Morecambe Bay Hospitals Charity, said: “Charitable donations to the unit make a real difference and staff are already looking at ways of utilising this money in the most effective way. We convey our thanks to Mark and Luke and each and every person who sponsored this event”.

Luke’s Mum Karen, an assistant at Torrisholme Primary School, said: “I am looking forward to Christmas. My view on life now is totally different. You don’t know what is around the corner, so you have to embrace life and do as much as you can.”

Nzinga Cotton, a spokeswoman for Diabetes UK says there are no recorded statistics of the number of hypoglycimia episodes which end in a fatality, but the threat is real. “When the blood glucose level are very low they need a sugary drink or jelly babies and if that doesn’t happen and it is not treated, there’s an increased increasing of becoming unconscious and going into a coma and if that is not treated then it can be very serious and even fatal.”