Yes we are alive and yes Chris did complete the walk - we were all a bit too shattered to put the details online last night though!
|Chris and Lynne on the A5|
Chris finished at the hospital at 7:00pm last night surrounded by the whole family, most of whom walked the last mile with him. The final five miles were incredibly hard for him, his hip had given out and the pain killers were no longer helping much so it was little more than determination and will power that kept him going. By the final two miles he was limping and walking very slowly...but he got there.
My sister Lynne walked the longest distance with him, a total of 13 miles. My niece Nicole walked five miles doing the first lap of the Wrekin and Chris's sister Alison walked with him for around two miles towards the end as he entered Shrewsbury. George climbed the Wrekin with Lynne (on the gentler side) for the first lap and then joined Chris again for the final two miles from Meole Brace to the hospital. Lynne, Nicole, Adam and I along with Chris's parents met him for the final mile mostly just to hold him up as he finished. For the rest of the day, I was handling communications, picnic's, driving back and forth to make sure everyone was in the right place at the right time and babysitting the children - by the end of it, I was nearly as exhausted as everyone else even if I didn't have the stiff muscles to show for my efforts!
We also heard late last night that my brother-in-law Dwayne finished his 23 mile (37 kilometre) walk in Canada at 2pm Canadian time (he'd started at 5am to be walking with us albeit 3,000 miles apart). Sickeningly enough, he probably has the most energy of all of us as he's off out to an outdoors show today! We love you Dwayne, you're just too fit for us and we're jealous... :-)
|Chris recording a video diary|
Chris and I were absolutely delighted that most of the key staff who cared for Adam in that crucial first week in Neo Natal were on duty last night so when we went in to the Unit, we saw "Auntie Sarah", Steve and Gina among others which meant so much to us. Both Sarah and Gina had a nice cuddle and Sarah took Adam into Intensive Care to show him his little corner where he spent his first week of life.
They had been following our story through some of the publicity and we were touched they were so grateful both for our efforts and also for the newspaper stories in which we talked about how excellent their care was for Adam and also for us. Apparently when Sarah read how grateful we were, she got a little choked up and said this is the sort of thing that keeps them going. I can't imagine how hard their job is because for every child like Adam who leaves the Unit healthy and well, there must be so many others who don't make it. It must be so hard to pour so much energy, skill and even love into your work only to have a child die, my heart goes out to them even as I'm more grateful than I can ever possibly say for what they did for Adam. (So Sarah, if you're reading this, grab the tissues!) And yes, as promised, we will keep bringing Adam to visit you, I just wish we'd remembered to get a photo of all of us together with the staff. We were originally going to go into the Labour Ward as well to show Adam to the staff there but Chris was just too close to the point of collapse so we headed out for his sake.
Once we'd gotten back to Telford, we just about had time for some fish and chips before we all collapsed into bed. Unfortunately, I was up again at both 1:55am and again at 5:30am as a certain little someone wasn't really too bothered that we wanted to sleep - he wanted his milk and he wanted it NOW. ::sigh:: Sadly, as my Aunt said on her birthday card, there's no mute button on either cats or babies! This morning, Chris was in an awful lot of pain and struggling to move but a handful of tablets later and things are easing a bit. He's moving about albeit slowly and stiffly but we're all happy to have achieved the walk.
So thank you Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Auntie Sarah, Steve, Gina and all of the others for caring so wonderfully for our little miracle. We hope our efforts will help buy some equipment to care for other precious babies who find the start of their life is just a little bit bumpy.
Thank you also to all of you who have donated so much, more than we
ever hoped for or imagined and who have supported our efforts financially and also with words of support, prayers and kindness that helped us keep going. We're going to be collecting the final pledges in the coming days and then the hospital PR department will be arranging a formal cheque presentation for us. I imagine there will be more tears that day.