20th October 2022

Nellie Ford has completed 30 outdoor swims - every day in September - to raise money for our hospitals. She wanted to say a great big thank you to NHS staff for their care of her daughter Rosie, after she had a heart attack aged just 22.

Nellie said: "Rosie experienced severe chest pains in the early hours of 16th July and attended A&E at Bristol Royal Infirmary. Although her ECG returned within normal range, her blood results were a cause for concern, and she was admitted, and then moved into the Bristol Heart Institute during Saturday night. She stayed in the BHI until Weds 27th July, where she received excellent care from all the nursing staff and doctors she came into contact with.

"She had an MRI scan on 20th July which confirmed that she’d suffered a heart attack, and then a CT scan on 27th July which showed that she had a small hole in the heart which was the cause of the heart attack."

At the time of the heart attack, Rosie had just completed a degree in Fine Art, gaining First Class Honours and was about to start aRosie and Nellie at Rosies UWE graduation Postgraduate Fellowship at Spike Island gallery in October, but she was determined not to let her experience hold her back, and enjoyed sketching and creating art even whilst in hospital.

Nellie said: "I know that Rosie would like to thank all the staff for their kindness and care, in particular the doctors who agreed that she could take the afternoon out of hospital on 25th July to attend her UWE graduation at Bristol Cathedral, and nurses, Ashley, Renee and especially Ellie, who helped her choose her graduation outfit! [Graduation outfit pictured right]

"It was very easy to stay motivated during my swimming challenge because I was thinking of anyone in a hospital bed who may be unable to do what I was doing… I feel very fortunate!

"I have enjoyed tremendous support from family and friends. The local ‘Bluetit’ wild swimming group have been amazing, and my mum and sister even joined me for a swim.

"The swims were all incredible! I’m still swimming several times a week and loving the cold water benefits of improved circulation and general wellness."

Nellie raised an incredible £1,500 for our hospitals. Thank you Nellie!

If you want to say thank you for the care you or a loved one has received, fundraising is a great way to do just that.

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