Widow donates bikes in memory of Jack

Jack Bullen's widow Lorraine, and family with QA staff and the exercise bikes Picture: Malcolm Wells (171103-7859)

PEOPLE with leukaemia will benefit from exercise bikes thanks to a generous donation.

Lorraine Bullen raised nearly £3,500 for the bikes, which have been donated to the oncology department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

She decided to raise the money in memory of her husband Jack who was treated at the Cosham site after he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia – a form of blood cancer.

Two bikes have already arrived at the unit and Lorraine, from Gosport, will be ordering two more before the end of the year.

She said: ‘When Jack was diagnosed he started treatment straight away.

‘While he was in Southampton General Hospital they had exercise bikes in the airlock room where he would get his treatment.

‘But they didn’t have any at QA. When he was getting treatment in their rooms he could only walk around.

‘When he came out of hospital he had terrible muscle wastage and no stamina.

‘He said if there were exercise bikes like at Southampton it would have been a lot better.’

It was after Jack, 69, was discharged and put into remission that he started talking about fundraising to bring bikes to QA Hospital.

But 10 weeks later, in December last year, he died from cancer. Lorraine said she wanted to carry out his wishes and buy the bikes, costing £800 each. Thanks to generous donations from family and friends, the first two bikes were purchased.

Lorraine then abseiled down Spinnaker Tower in May to raise money for the remaining two bikes.

She added: ‘It has taken a while to get the bikes into the hospital because I had to do a lot of research into what ones to get.

‘There were a lot of specifications that needed to be followed.

‘It was important to have them here and I am glad the first two are and the second two will be following shortly.’

The bikes were unveiled last week and carry a plaque for Jack.

Ruth Carter, head of nursing and surgery and cancer at QA, said: ‘Research has shown exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment but it can improve how well patients function physically and also increase their quality of life.

‘The donation of these exercise bikes will allow our patients to be active without leaving the ward.’

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