Determined Portsmouth hospital fundraisers raise funds for specialist bike in ‘Ride to Rio’ challenge

Alex Halladay, left, from Gosport gets pedalling with physiotherapist and charity cycle organiser Harriett Herbert who works in the stroke department at QA 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161105-1)
Alex Halladay, left, from Gosport gets pedalling with physiotherapist and charity cycle organiser Harriett Herbert who works in the stroke department at QA Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161105-1)
John Knighton, medical director of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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DETERMINED fundraisers have pedalled an epic distance in a bid to give people who suffer from neurological conditions a new lease of life.

Queen Alexandra Hospital’s neuro physiotherapy team, joined by current and ex-patients, rode 12 hours on static bikes in an effort to raise money for a specialist therapy bicycle.

The bike will enable patients to start moving and exercising sooner while in hospital, which is proven to improve their mobility later in life as they recover from their brain injury or stroke.

The bike can also be used when sat in a wheelchair, so more patients can use it.

The cyclathon was one of a number of cycling challenges held over the past six weeks by the fundraising team as they seek to pedal the equivalent distance between Portsmouth and Rio – 6,000 miles – to tie in with the Olympics.

QA senior physiotherapist Harriet Herbert decided she would ride non-stop for 12 hours during the latest challenge, which was held in the hospital yesterday.

She said: ‘It’s so important that we help our patients.

‘And as physios we want our patients to have access to the best equipment.

‘We know getting this bike will improve their fitness and strength – and all aspects of their rehabilitation.’

Harriet added: ‘It’s been a good challenge, I have felt tired, but the main focus is trying to raise as much money as possible.

‘We’re doing this as part of the bid to ride the equivalent distance between Portsmouth and Rio.’

Ray Nevitt, from Gosport, was able to walk again after using a specialist therapy bike.

He said: ‘I had a stroke two months ago, which affected everything on my right-hand side and my speech.

‘Before using the bike, I couldn’t walk on my right leg.

‘Every time I tried, my leg collapsed due to having no strength in my knee.

‘From using the bike, it has strengthened my leg and I can now walk with a walking stick. The bike has been a major part of my therapy and the staff have been fantastic.’

To donate towards the cause, visit the Team’s Virgin Money Giving page – http://bit.do/RidetoRio