A DOCTOR is taking the plunge to raise money for charity in memory of her mum.
Katie Jerram works at Rowans Hospice in Purbrook and earlier this year experienced what her patients’ families go through.
Katie said: ‘A year ago, my lovely mum, Rosemary Lavis, was diagnosed with cancer.
‘She was admitted to Rowans Hospice and died there in June.’
Katie has been a doctor at the Rowans Hospice since 2004 and wanted to give something back for looking after her mum.
The 42-year-old said: ‘Throughout her stay she was treated with the utmost care and respect by every member of staff, and they supported us as her family too.
‘As a teenager mum swam in the sea every day over winter one year, just for fun.
‘I thought this would be a good way to remember her adventurous spirit and to raise money for this incredibly important cause.’
Katie’s fundraising effort inspired her colleagues to join in and two other hospice doctors and three ward nurses joined her for her December Dip challenge.
Katie said: ‘I have had about 15 staff from the hospice come down and do the dip with me and my colleague Dr Natalie Davis is doing every dip with me.
‘So New Year’s Day will be the last one of the month and we will be doing it on Christmas Day as well.’
Katie added: ‘Jumping in the sea it’s absolutely freezing, but I guess quite refreshing and more fun than it looks.’
Chief executive of Rowans Hospice Ruth White said: ‘Katie has inspired so many people and she is absolutely incredible.
‘I know it was hard for her to make the decision for her mum to come and stay in the hospice, but Katie’s team were fantastic and supported her so much.’
Katie has more than doubled her original donation target of £1,000 and is now approaching more than £2,500.
Ruth added: ‘After her mum died Katie felt she had to give something back, even though she is a brilliant doctor and gives so much to us already.
‘This event has gained momentum and it is amazing how many people are getting involved.’
‘Katie truly is an inspiration.’