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Emma runs the distance her parents used to travel to visit her in hospital to fund activities for other patients

Former patient wants to help fund extra support for weekend activities on wards

A former patient with “high hopes” for her future has completed her challenge to run more than 250km in a month to thank St Andrew’s for helping her.

Emma was discharged from the Northampton hospital in June 2021 after being a patient for two-and-a-half years.

After much dedication and support from Emma herself and also staff from within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), she is now in sixth form, studying maths, psychology and biology, as she wants to become a paramedic.

Emma, 17, said: “I was in a couple of hospitals before I was admitted to St Andrew’s. This was the first place that actually tried to change things and make me better. The other hospitals just focused on keeping me safe.

“I feel like the staff at St Andrew’s really helped make a difference and now I’ve got high hopes for my future. I decided I wanted to give something back, so my running challenge to raise money is my way of saying ‘thank you’.”

Emma is doing this by running over 8km a day, every day, throughout the month of January, which will eventually total the same distance her parents travelled each time they went to visit her in hospital.

She said: “My target is £500 and I’m hoping the money can be used to give patients more support at the weekends. When I was at St Andrew’s we’d all get bored at the weekend when the Occupational Therapy teams weren’t in.  It’s hard being away from home and being in hospital, so I thought the money I raise could be used to fund activities the patients may want to do at the weekend, like baking and colouring.”

Both Emma’s parents are supporting their daughter who is determined to complete this epic challenge.

Her dad, Mark, said: “It was heart-breaking when Emma was first admitted to hospital. It was very difficult for the whole family but we always kept in touch and visited her every week. 

“It was a great relief when she was well enough to be discharged and we’re so, so proud of her. She’s persisted through it all and she’s doing so well. It hasn’t always been straightforward though and we’ve had a few setbacks, but Emma has dealt with it.”

In addition to Emma’s dedication to her recovery, Mark said staff at St Andrew’s have played a large part in helping his daughter get back on her feet.

“Dr Lisa Campbell, who was Emma’s psychologist, was fantastic. She was so patient and so professional. She was incredibly supportive of Emma all the way through her stay and this actually continued beyond her discharge. Initially, we struggled to get any support in the community when she was discharged and Lisa offered to see Emma on a weekly basis for six weeks after she was discharged, which was a lifeline. We couldn’t have asked for more. We’re very grateful to the dedication St Andrew’s provided to help treat Emma.”

Dr Campbell said: “To see the difference in Emma, from when she was admitted, to when she was discharged from our care was amazing. She worked so hard, and should be so proud of her progress. It was a pleasure for us all to work with her during her admission.

“It is so thoughtful of her to commit to such a big challenge, in order to raise money for St Andrew’s, both in terms of the money providing more weekend activities, but also in regard to recognising the long journey that her family had to make to visit her.”

For anyone who would like to donate to Emma’s cause, use the link below:

https://gofund.me/dadf46ac

or scan this QR code on your phone:

6UrCdAjj568=--SCtL2egzKxOkJ3lT--i2W%2FxdDdJBRngG79m5usXg==

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