Husband’s daredevil abseil challenge in memory of his wife

Andy and Linda Welham

Andy and Linda Welham - Credit: Archant

A husband is preparing himself for a daunting 120ft abseil challenge down Ipswich Hospital’s Maternity Ward to thank staff for caring for his wife.

Karina Youngs and Jessica Watkins from the Ipswich Hospital Charity team in front of the120 foot mat

Karina Youngs and Jessica Watkins from the Ipswich Hospital Charity team in front of the120 foot maternity block - Credit: Archant

Andy Welham, 66, from Ipswich, and his niece Tanya will join hundreds of thrill seekers taking part in the challenge over the May bank holiday weekend to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Charity.

Mr Welham’s wife Linda received care at the hospital’s oncology department after being diagnosed with lung cancer seven years ago.

She passed away in May last year aged 63.

“When my lovely wife Linda was diagnosed, we felt that we were alone in a world of darkness,” said Mr Welham.

“The pain was unbearable for both of us as we had been inseparable for over 40yrs and lived together, worked together and played together.

“Then Dr Tim Podd, nurse specialist Chris Garlick and the oncology team came into our lives and gave us hope and strength. “Although they couldn’t offer a cure, they offered us time.

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“I credit all the wonderfully friendly people in the Oncology Department, including the receptionists who took the time to call Lin by her first name every time they saw her, with saving her for more than six years.

“They were just marvellous and all showed great compassion and empathy towards us both.

“Lin was beautiful and I miss her every day. She was such a strong lady – people used to say that I was her rock, but the truth is it was the other way round.”

Mr Welham said he was a little nervous about taking on the challenge.

“I think on the day of the abseil I will be apprehensive but also excited,” he said.

“I hope that Tanya and I can raise a lot of money so that we can help the hospital to help other people.”

Mandy Jordan, head of charity and fundraising with The Ipswich Hospital Charity, said they were still looking for more daredevils to take part in the event.

She said: “We are incredibly grateful to Andy and Tanya for honouring Linda’s memory by signing up to take part in our popular abseil.

“We are still looking for more people to register and experience the ultimate adrenalin rush while raising money for their local hospital at the same time.

“Please do get in touch if you’d like to follow Andy’s lead and take the plunge.”

For more information, visit www.ipswichhospitalcharity.co.uk or call the charity team on 01473 702929.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Andy and Tanya should visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andy-Tanya4Linda