A nursing student who was in an induced coma at just 16-years-old has taken it upon herself to raise money for her local NHS hospitals charity, North Tees and Hartlepool Together.
As a teen, Bethany Cashmore, from Stockton-on-Tees, was in an induced coma at the University Hospital of North Tees – which is run by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust – for nine days in September 2012 due to life-threatening pneumonia.
Now, nine years later, she is walking and cycling 216 miles, alongside her family, to raise money for the very team who treated her.
Bethany initially aimed to raise £216 – £1 for every hour she was in the induced coma in the hospital’s critical care unit. However, just days into her fundraiser, she has already exceeded her target.
Bethany said: “I’m using the number 216 as the theme to give something back because I spent 216 hours in an induced coma back in 2012.
“When COVID hit and I saw critical care units from across the world on the news, it brought all those feelings back from waking up after being in a coma.
“To everyone who has ever worked or still works on any critical care ward, I want to thank you for everything you do. I cannot and never will be able to put into words how grateful I am to you all.”
Bethany’s new goal is to raise £432, double that of her original target. She is already well on the way to completing her new target.
Alongside her mum Tracey, dad Andrew – affectionately known as Cashy – and her boyfriend Jake, the 25-year-old is walking and cycling 216 miles over the course of two weeks. Their journey will conclude with a four mile walk up Roseberry Topping on Saturday 16 October.
Bethany, who faced PTSD, anxiety and depression as a teen, is just beginning the second year of her nursing degree at Teesside University with aspirations of becoming a mental health nurse.
Bethany added: “As much as I want to give back to the ITU who saved my life, I also want to go into mental health nursing to help other people who might be struggling like I was.
“Seeing so much footage since COVID-19 hit has made me pursue the profession to help others.”
If you would like to donate to Bethany’s fundraiser, please visit her JustGiving page.