Asam Iqbal is currently undertaking an Everest Triathlon Challenge to fundraise for Ward 5 at Airedale Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment following a long stay on the Intensive Care Unit and diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Asam was admitted to Airedale Hospital on 5 February 2022 and spent over five months on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). His condition slowly improved while receiving specialist treatment from the ICU team and eventually he was stable enough to breathe for himself. With help from speech and language therapists, he regained ability to swallow and use his voice. He was then moved to Ward 5 where he began his rehabilitation journey.
Ward 5 is a stroke and neurological rehabilitation ward that provides specialist medical, nursing and therapy support services. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare and serious condition that affects the nerves.
“I suffered from multiple complications such as pneumonia, overactive thyroid, and I was reliant on a pacemaker due to an irregular heartbeat and extreme anxiety caused by sudden illness.
“After lots of tests I was given a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome which is a very rare and serious condition where your immune system attacks the nerves. I was essentially fully paralysed and completely reliant on specialist around the clock care at Airedale Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.”
Asam begun his Everest Triathlon Challenge on 17 October, and it will last for a month. He will be wheeling his wheelchair, walking in the hydrotherapy pool, and cycling in his wheelchair with specialist pedals and will travel the equivalent distance from Mount Everest Base Camp to its summit (approximately 20.5km). It usually takes people over a month and a half to walk up Mount Everest, so Asam will complete his challenge in a similar amount of time.
He is fundraising for Airedale Hospital and Community Charity, specifically for Ward 5 at Airedale Hospital so the team can purchase specialist physiotherapy equipment.
“This has been, and still is, a physical and emotional journey. I am having to adapt to a different way of living. I have come a long way but still have a long way to go. With people’s prayers, the will of Allah and determination, hopefully my condition will improve.
“My goal during my time here on Ward 5 is to regain as much independence as possible. Ultimately, I want to return to my life before all this happened but I know that I have more of this journey to go yet. By sharing my journey, I hope I can help people understand this condition. Eventually, I’d like to come back to the unit and talk about my experience to others who go through this.
“I want to raise funds to give something back to those who have suffered life-changing diagnosis like myself and are being supported by the wonderful teams at Airedale. The money that I raise will go towards new specialist physiotherapy equipment to support those who are most vulnerable.
“No matter how many times I say thank you or how much money gets raised, nothing I do will show enough appreciation to the whole multi-disciplinary team. They have supported my recovery immensely.”
To donate to Asam’s Everest Challenge, please visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/asamseverestchallenge.
Image 1: Asam (at the front) with members of staff from Airedale Hospital’s Ward 5
Image 2: Asam cycling as part of his challenge