Grace to cycle 33 miles for hospital helipad

Grace Kelly at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital with Manchester City footballers Vincent Kompany and Harry Kane. (s)
Grace Kelly at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital with Manchester City footballers Vincent Kompany and Harry Kane. (s)

A Year 7 St Augustine’s pupil will take on a marathon cycle ride to raise money for a helipad for the hospital who treated her for a serious brain condition.

Grace Kelly was transferred from the Royal Blackburn Hospital to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital by road ambulance, where she was diagnosed with the congenital condition Hydrocephalus, more commonly known as “water on the brain”.

Grace Kelly who will take part in a charity cycle ride from Wiswell to Lytham in aid of the North West Air Ambulance. (s)

Grace Kelly who will take part in a charity cycle ride from Wiswell to Lytham in aid of the North West Air Ambulance. (s)

Mum Jo said: “Grace is really active and always off playing one form of sport or another, so when she was feeling unwell with sickness and headaches for a few weeks it was out of the ordinary and we were really worried about her.

“After spending time on the assessment unit at Blackburn, she was transferred to Manchester. Even thought the ambulance had lights and sirens on, we were held up in traffic close to the Royal Manchester and a journey that should have taken less than an hour took more than two hours.”

After being admitted to the hospital, Grace was successfully treated for hydrocephalus after a scan revealed the third ventricle in her brain was bowing. Though she will be monitored for the rest of her life, her condition should not affect day to day life.

Jo continued: “We were so grateful for the amazing care which Grace received, but at the same time, very concerned that she may have need to get there a lot quicker.

“The ambulance technicians told us that delays due to traffic are a regular occurrence, and that they simply cannot get through when rush hour traffic is at its heaviest.

“We found out that the RMCH, which is the largest children’s hospital in the UK, needed to raise £3.9m. for a helipad to be installed, and after lots of fund-raising, they have so far raised £3.2m., so there’s £700,000 left to go. Grace immediately said she wanted to do something to help.”

True to her word, keen cyclist Grace and members of her family will undertake a sponsored cycle ride from their home in Wiswell to Lytham St Annes on May 1st.

A summer family fair will also take place in Pendleton with themed stalls including face painting, cakes, raffle and a hog roast.

To the family’s delight, Grace has also been asked if her case can be used as a case study to raise awareness for the helipad appeal as well as the work that the hospital does.

Jo concluded: “We are delighted that Grace’s case will be used to help the appeal and we’ll do anything at all we can to highlight awareness of the vital need for this helipad.”

l To donate to Grace’s fundraising efforts, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Joanne-Kelly20 or text JKGD99 to 70070 to donate £1.