On March 15th 2020, Dad fell poorly whilst at home. Mum took him to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital where after 4 days of CT and MRI testing, he was diagnosed with having two tumours 5cm in length situated on the base of his brain and the top his spinal cord.

As soon as Dad was well enough, it was arranged for him to travel to The Walton Centre in Liverpool in order to have the tumours surgically removed.

The operation date was set for April 9th but when he arrived at the Walton Centre, this was delayed due to Dad requiring to have some fluid drained from his brain and then contracting a chest infection. The chest infection was treated with Antibiotics and finally, Dad was booked in to have his operation on Friday 17th April which was a success.

During the following week, Dad’s health improved and after spending 5 weeks in bed, he was able to stand up and manage a few short walks around the ward.

Dad continued to improve gradually but sadly, on 28th April, it was confirmed that he had tested positive for Coronavirus and would move into isolation within The Walton Centre. Over the next few weeks, we were all very worried and upset due to nobody being able to go and visit Dad but we were very grateful to all of the staff who were taking care of him. No task was too small, some nurses even went to the shops to buy him a bag of sweets to cheer him up.

After 47 days of ups and downs having Coronavirus in his system, we received the fantastic news that he had finally tested negative and he could hopefully move to a different ward to receive some physiotherapy and rehabilitation to get him back on his feet in preparation to be able to go home.

During all of this time, it has been very difficult for Mum Barbara, Andrew my brother and I not being able to visit Dad in hospital but we are very thankful for the technology we are blessed with these days of Messenger and Whats app video calls to stay in touch. In some of these calls, it has been lovely to see some of the nurses and staff happily joining in our calls, introducing themselves, giving us that enormous reassurance that Dad is in the best hands possible being cared for.

After everything that Dad has been through over the last 15 weeks, I have set myself a challenge with the hope of raising some money for The Walton Centre. This is a way of us showing our appreciation to all of the dedicated NHS staff for the professionalism, care and support they have provided to Dad and all of our family.

I live in Coulsdon, South London and as I have already said it has been difficult not being able to visit Dad during lockdown and his recovery. As Dad had Coronavirus for 47 days, I have challenged myself to run 5 miles every day for the next 47 days which equals 235 miles, a virtual run from Coulsdon to Liverpool.

The Walton Centre is the only specialist hospital trust in the UK dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and pain management services. As a family, we will be forever grateful for the care that has been provided for Dad, especially in these extra challenging times.

We would all like to thank you for taking the time to read my page and any donations for The Walton Centre would be greatly appreciated.

Neal Grimwood