Rustington resident to cycle 644 miles from London to Geneva to support local hospice

Rustington resident Harry Finnigan will take on some of the renowned Tour de France stages this summer as he rides from London to Geneva in memory of his grandfather, who was cared for by St Barnabas House.

Harry, who turns 30 in April, will be cycling 644 miles across southern England and northern France for 10 days, from Wednesday 25 July to Friday 3 August.

Stage one of the cycle, which is organised by Global Adventure Challenges, will consist of a four day ride across the glorious English countryside through Kent before crossing the channel to Calais.

Harry will continue through northern France, passing the war memorials and cemeteries of the Somme before reaching Paris where stage one concludes with a spectacular ride up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, finishing at the Eiffel Tower.

The following day will be a rest day as the peloton races into Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France, before stage two of the ride commences and Harry continues riding through northern France and into the Jura Mountains.

Here he will tackle the hairpin bends of Col de la Faucille, a climb often included in the Tour de France route, before descending to the finish line on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Harry decided to take on the challenge to raise funds for Worthing-based hospice St Barnabas House where his grandfather, John Ian Crammond (known as Ian), was cared for at the end of his life in.

John Ian Crammond, Harry’s granddad

On his inspiration for taking on the challenge, Harry said: “My love for my grandad and how he helped me through my schooling and his life achievements have inspired me to make something of my life.

“He had an extremely difficult childhood, so what he achieved was inspiring. I also want others to be able to have the care St Barnabas gave my grandpa.”

John Crammond was cared for by the hospice having been referred by the Cardiac Unit at Worthing Hospital.

Harry said: “Grandpa had Advanced Heart Failure and was assigned the wonderful Advanced Heart Failure Nurse, Michaela Wheatley, by Dr Bob Dissanayake from the Worthing Cardiac Unit.”

St Barnabas House made the decision in 2016 to introduce a new Disease Specific Nursing Team in order to provide specialist palliative care for patients with specific illnesses, including Advanced Heart Failure.

Michaela Wheatley, the Advanced Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, joined the team in June 2016 and has provided specialist support for over 150 people with Advanced Heart Failure since then.

Harry said: “Michaela visited Grandpa at home and went through some very difficult questions with my mum, aunt and Grandpa to ensure his wishes were met. She was with us the whole way until he died.

“She sorted out medication when our surgery said it would take seven days, but he needed it urgently, she chased up the district nurses when communication was not happening and she gave us numbers of people to help with getting him a special bed, commode and frames into his house.

Advanced Heart Failure Nurse Specialist Michaela Wheatley

“She listened to what dad wanted and respected his decisions like turning off his defibrillator, do not resuscitate forms, where he wanted to die – such hard questions for us all but so necessary to ensure Grandpa’s end of life was as close to his wishes as possible and the most dignified for him.

“A few days before he died when he was in hospital she visited him and arranged for him to go to St Barnabas House, organising an ambulance, and explained to him in the most caring way that he was now dying.

“Michaela gave us all more valuable time with Grandpa during his last few weeks and made his life more comfortable, enabling him to have a dignified death surrounded by those he loved.”

You can find more information about the Advanced Heart Failure Service provided by St Barnabas House at www.stbh.org.uk/heartservice

So far Harry has raised £2,895.00 of a £4,000 target. If you would like to sponsor him please visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/harry-finnigan

To find out more information about cycling events for St Barnabas House please visit www.stbh.org.uk/cycle or contact the Events Team on events@stbh.org.uk

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