Fundraiser still going strong

FROM abseiling down the side of buildings to driving double-decker buses, no task is too great for 80-year-old fundraiser Jean Burgess.As the New Year approaches she has been dreaming up new and imaginative ways of raising funds for the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department at Ipswich Hospital.

FROM abseiling down the side of buildings to driving double-decker buses, no task is too great for 80-year-old fundraiser Jean Burgess.

As the New Year approaches she has been dreaming up new and imaginative ways of raising funds for the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department at Ipswich Hospital.

Having already completed the maternity block abseil twice and taken part in the Ladies' Driving Challenge at Bentwaters she has been devising her next money-making scheme.

For medical reasons she cannot do the tandem parachute jump she wanted to do - so instead she is planning a sponsored pub crawl around Stowmarket in her electric bike.

Mrs Burgess, who has a tracheostomy in her neck (a surgical opening in the windpipe) following surgery at the hospital, said: "I wanted to do one of those tandem parachute jumps but they said I wouldn't be allowed to because I wouldn't be able to get enough oxygen.

"I would have done it otherwise."

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Her pub crawl will not be a boozy affair however as due to her medication she is unable to drink alcohol, so she said she would take a bottle of water and pretend.

She said: "My mobility is not great and I have a little four wheel bike which I get around on. I just thought it would be a funny idea."

She also hopes to take part in the abseil for a third time.

She said: "Anything I can think of that will raise money for them, then I'll do it."

Mrs Burgess, of Old Newton, near Stowmarket, spent six months in hospital when she had an operation to remove a lump in her throat.

She said: "I spent three weeks in intensive care but you can't let these things get you down, you have to get on with it.

"The care I had there was fantastic and I can't thank them enough for making me like I am today.

"The girls in the ENT department have been ever so good to me. They've helped me in all sorts of ways.

"They are well worth what I do for them."

Over the last few years the money she has raised has been used to buy a special bed for the head and neck unit and also equipment used to treat people with breathing problems.

In October the nurses at the ENT department threw a special party for her 80th birthday as a way of saying thank you for her efforts.

Linda Milton, nurse specialist in the ENT department, said: "What she's done for us has been fantastic.

"She's a wonder, she really is."

Do you have any weird and wacky fundraising activities coming up? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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