Chris takes on South Downs Way

Former Intensive Care patient Chris O’Mahony has gone the extra mile to say thank you for the incredible care he received at the BRI.

A year and a half on from his treatment, Chris - who was so weak when leaving hospital that he was discharged in a wheelchair and tackling the stairs at home felt like climbing a mountain - took on a phenomenal cycling challenge.  

Chris is a father of two young children Francesca (age 5) and Jonty (age 18 months), married to wife Niamh who is a Senior physiotherapist at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and a busy Director in the Retail and Leisure team at Savills, based in Clifton, Bristol.  Before this summer his cycling experience amounted to an occasional weekend cycle.

This June, together with a group of nine work colleagues, friends and family members, he cycled 100 miles off-road on the hilly trails of the South Downs Way.  The first day setting off from Winchester saw Chris and his comrades cycling for over 9 hours and the second day saw Chris and his team cycling for another intensive 10 hours before finishing their epic challenge in the evening sun of Eastbourne.

Thanks to an amazing response from all who donated, Chris and his friends have together raised close to £7,000 for our Golden Gift Appeal.  His fundraising is specifically going towards the appeal’s aim of raising funds needed for world-class Intensive Care monitoring technology and for two family rooms in hospital close to the Intensive Care Unit for relatives to be able to stay close by to critically ill loved ones.

He explains:

“It’s 100% important in ICU, you need a friendly face, you need your family close by, because as a patient it’s pretty scary – and I can’t remember ever being truly scared before.  You need someone you know well and love there – just to tell you it’s OK.”

The idea to take the challenge came to Chris on his hospital bed when he was recovering from extensive surgery and treatment in the Intensive Care Unit, High Dependency Unit and then on the ward at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). 

“It was an eye-opener to me to be in hospital – I’d barely had a day off sick from work before, let alone being admitted to hospital.  Lots of people complain about the NHS – but when you’re in the eye of the storm and very sick then there’s nowhere else in the world that I would rather be.”

If you have been inspired to fundraise for our Golden Gift Appeal and help raise the last £500,000 we would  love to hear from you. Contact the fundraising team on 0117 3700 485.


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