Marathon effort to thank hospital staff

Kevin and Tracy Smith
Enya's dad Kevin and mum Tracy

Published on 06 November 2019

A daughter is tackling a half marathon to raise money for the hospital that saved her father’s life.

Enya Smith will run the Brighton Half Marathon in February in aid of the intensive care unit at the William Harvey Hospital, where her dad was treated after a cardiac arrest.

Kevin Smith spent a week in hospital and Enya, 18, said the care he received from intensive care staff was ‘outstanding’.

She said: “It was so hard seeing someone you love with such a passion for being healthy, who enjoys running and cycling, attached to so many tubes and not being himself.

“But the care he received was outstanding, and we as a family were constantly updated.

“We were able to ring up during the night to put our minds at ease and the nurses were so lovely, especially Sophie, Sarah and Zoe.”

Kevin collapsed at home in the early hours of 23 September, and his wife Tracy dialled 999.

Operators helped her start chest compressions until the first crews arrived at their home in Maidstone within just three minutes. He was taken to the William Harvey Hospital by air ambulance and the family, including Enya’s sister Lauren, followed by road.

Enya, who works with children at a local leisure centre, said: “It has to be the worst thing to ever happen to anybody, especially someone you love.

“But everyone at the hospital helped us stay positive and looked after us so well, as well as making sure my dad received the best care possible.

“I honestly couldn’t thank them enough.  I wanted to say thank you to the hospital and it would mean a lot to dad too to be able to give something back to the people who cared for him and the place that saved his life.

“After the marathon he will drop the cheque in and say thank you to everyone in person.

“As well as the intensive care team, the Bartholomew unit were fantastic in how they looked after dad, and we are so grateful to the ambulance crews and helicopter teams as well.”

The money will go to the appeal to create a sensory garden for the intensive care unit. Work is underway on the project, funded by the Friends of the William Harvey Hospital, East Kent Hospitals Charity and the fundraising efforts of staff and patients.

To sponsor Enya, visit https://tinyurl.com/EnyaSmith