Asam Iqbal has raised an incredible £3,989 for ward 5 at Airedale Hospital by undertaking an Everest Triathlon Challenge.
Asam has been receiving treatment on the ward following a long stay on the Intensive Care Unit and diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is now a year since he was originally admitted to hospital, and he has just been discharged after a long few months of treatment and recovery.
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.
Asam begun his Everest Triathlon Challenge on 17 October, and it was supposed to last for a month. Asam, however, managed to complete it in just over two weeks. The challenge was to wheel his wheelchair, walk in the hydrotherapy pool, and cycle in his wheelchair with specialist pedals, travelling the equivalent distance from Mount Everest Base Camp to its summit (approximately 20.5km).
“I wanted to raise funds to give something back to those who have suffered a life-changing diagnosis like myself and are being supported by the wonderful teams at Airedale. The money that I raised will go towards new specialist physiotherapy equipment to support those who are most vulnerable.
“I can’t put into words what the team at Airedale has done for me; nothing I do will show enough appreciation to them all. They have supported my recovery immensely both physically and mentally.
“I’d like to give Dr Stoppard and Mark Forsyth a special shout out; they’ve made my stay at Airedale more than welcoming.”
Kathryn Webster, physiotherapist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We are all extremely grateful to Asam for raising nearly £4,000 for rehabilitation equipment. He worked really hard to complete his Mount Everest challenge through cycling, stepping in the hydrotherapy pool, and self-propelling his wheelchair up and down the hospital corridor and in record time.
“With the funds raised, we would love to buy some specialist equipment including wheelchairs to facilitate rehabilitation, but which will also provide means of getting off the ward. There are many people who are on the ward for extended periods of time and a change of scenery can be greatly beneficial. Being able to self-propel has also given Asam a different kind of independence with his mobility.
“He has made a great deal of progress from being on a ventilator unable to move any of his limbs last year. We wish him well as he leaves hospital and continues to make progress at home surrounded by his lovely family.”
You can still donate to Asam’s Everest Challenge by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/asamseverestchallenge.
Photographed: Asam and his wife Shamim handing over a cheque to Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Director of Corporate Affairs and clinicians that have treated him during his time in hospital