From the Church in Wales
Specialist nurse and bishop’s wife, Jo Davies, will be cycling across Wales via 11 hospitals next week to raise awareness of organ donation.
Jo will be pedalling 330 miles in five days from hospital to hospital in a sponsored ride to highlight organ donation and the need for families to talk about their wishes.
Married to the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies, Jo lives in Brecon but is based in Abergavenny as a specialist nurse in organ donation. She will be riding from Aberystwyth to Cardiff with a colleague, Phil Walton, a specialist nurse based in Carmarthen.
The pair will set out early on Monday morning from Bronglais Hospital and aim to make it to the University Hospital Wales, in Cardiff, on Friday. En route they will visit hospitals in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Swansea, Bridgend, Llantrisant, Merthyr Tydfil, Hereford and Newport. Meanwhile, another colleague Richard Pugh, will lead the final leg of the journey in North Wales on Saturday 13th July, doing 70 miles from Maelor Hospital, Wrexham to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor in one day.
The ride marks National Transplant Week (8th-14th July), an NHS Blood and Transplant annual awareness campaign. The Church in Wales is an associate of the NHSBT’s fleshandblood campaign to promote blood and organ donation.
Jo said, “I am a specialist nurse who works closely and extremely sensitively with families who are acutely bereaved or grieving, offering organ donation as a choice at the end of the lives of their loved one. With three people dying every day waiting for an organ transplant we are obviously aware of the need to encourage more people to join the organ donor register and make their wishes known to their families. This action alone makes the discussion with families somewhat easier for them.
“Neither Phil nor I were 'seasoned' cyclists before we embarked on this challenge but both of us have picked up the gauntlet and can be seen most weekends and days off cycling around mid and South Wales areas whilst in training. We’ve got pretty serious about it and luckily our families are remaining extremely tolerant of the little time we are spending with them whilst we try and get into shape!”
Money raised by the team will go to the Donor Family Network http://donorfamilynetwork.co.uk/ Donations can be sent to www.justgiving.com/Phil-Walton2
The bike ride will be supported by the Welsh Government’s Heart to Heart Roadshow, which is touring hospitals until July 13 to tell people more the importance of knowing the wishes of family members and how to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Jo and Phil have set up a Facebook page - 330 miles for Organ Donation - and are writing a blog which can be found at http://donation330.blogspot.co.uk/
Monday 8th July
Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth to Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest
Tuesday 9th July
Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest to Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen to Prince Phillip Hospital, Llanelli to Morriston Hospital, Swansea
Wednesday 10th July
Morriston Hospital, Swansea to Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend to Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant to Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr
Thursday 11th July
Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr to Neville Hall Hospital, Abergavenny to Hereford County Hospital, Hereford
Friday 12th July
Hereford County Hospital, Hereford to Royal Gwent Hospital Newport to University Hospital Wales, Cardiff
Saturday 13th July
Wrexham Maelor Hospital to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital Bangor