Here’s Gillian’s tale of how she got caught up in this cycling extravaganza……
It all started in 2016 when I was working in Wythenshawe Hospital on the Cardiothorcic Intensive Care Unit. There I was reviewing patients one morning before the ward round minding my own, working away. I got talking to this one nurse, who I had seen around the unit but we hadn’t done many shifts together, I think her name was Amy.
While I was reviewing her patient, as you do, she asked me whether cardiac anaesthesia was something I wanted to specialise in, was I enjoying my placement? I replied that I was enjoying it but I’d already decided what I want to do, I loved paediatric anaesthesia and paediatric intensive care and that’s where I want to work.
She got all excited and said that’s somewhere she would like to work too. She has 2 sons and one of them was born with a spinal tumour, he had it operated on when he was 13 days old etc, etc, you all know the story by now…..
Now as you may or may not be aware Becca and Joel are loosely related. Their mum and dad (respectively) are cousins. Becca and Joel used to meet up in the holidays when they were children and play together. Though Becca hadn’t seen Joel in years, she knew he lived in Manchester somewhere. Apparently text messages had been sent, over the years, from both saying how now that they lived near each other, they should meet up, but life, as it does, got in the way.
So anyway, back to my story, there I am standing in the intensive care unit at work listening to this nurse tell me about her poorly son and all I can think is ‘I’ve heard this story before….’
I listened to the story end and the conversation moved on, bizarrely the topic changed to weddings. Amy’s wedding anniversary was approaching, she tell’s me about her wedding and honeymoon and again I think…. ‘I’m sure I’ve heard this before too…’
It was at this point I suddenly realised that I might have finally met ‘Becca’s cousins’ wife’ with the young son that we had heard so much about.
Lesley, Becca’s mum had kept us up to date with Harry’s journey and regularly got exasperated at us about the fact we lived so close but never visited. Unlike Becca, Lesley had been keeping in better touch with Joel and she was even at the wedding.
In fact when I started my placement at Wythenshawe Hospital 4 months earlier Lesley said that Joel’s Amy worked there as a nurse and “I might bump into her”. Little did she realise…
This is when I said the immortal line “This sounds awfully familiar, do you know…..? (Insert Becca’s parents names….)
Amy looked at me strangely and went, ‘eerrrr… yeah? How do you know that?’
I explained that I was in a relationship with their daughter, Becca. There was a definite sense of relief from Amy that I wasn’t some crazy stalker at that point and then we had a big chat about how we could finally get Joel and Becca to catch up, the rest as they, is history!
Now I somehow seem to be committed to cycling an awfully long way in a few weeks time! As you can see from the attached picture – training isn’t exactly filling me with joy but we’re definitely getting there!