Bowling club president bowls over St Helier staff with £2,000 donation!

Keith Woods, President of Wallington Bowling Club and Men's Captain

Just over a year on from collapsing with Covid, Keith Woods, 75, and Wallington Bowling Club’s President and Men’s Captain, returned to St Helier Hospital to thank the team which saved his life and to present them with a generous £2,000 cheque.

Keith was admitted to St Helier’s respiratory ward in November 2020 where he remained in a critical condition for three months.  He was eventually allowed to return home and although his rehabilitation is ongoing, his family and many friends at Wallington Bowling Club continue to be amazed and overjoyed to have him back!

To show their appreciation, last year Keith and his fellow members unanimously chose to dedicate the fundraising from the club’s (delayed) centenary games to their local NHS.

Unfortunately, Keith himself wasn’t able to play but he said: “The £2,000 raised is just a small token of our immense gratitude to the all the wonderful doctors, nurses and other staff who looked after me.  Covid has changed my life forever but I know I’m one of the lucky ones and that I wouldn’t be here today were it not for all their hard work and dedication.”

Dr Thomas Medveczky, Consultant Physician in Respiratory and General Medicine at St Helier, who led on Keith’s care said: “We are delighted to see how well Keith is doing!  Of course we strive to do the very best for all our patients but it was such a nice surprise to learn about Wallington Bowling Club’s fundraising– it makes us very proud and privileged to have touched so many lives in this way and the money will help fund life-saving equipment for many more patients with Covid and non-Covid respiratory problems.”

Keith and his family also attribute his recovery to the Trust’s ‘Letters to Loved Ones’ service.  With no visitors allowed at the time, people could instead use the service to send in their well wishes which a staff member would then read aloud to Keith at his bedside. He received 87 letters and emails! Keith’s daughter Sarah, who lives in Australia, said: “During the most difficult time for our family, and with Dad in isolation in hospital for months, there’s no doubt in my mind that these supportive messages from family and friends made Dad keep fighting.”

So thanks to the care he received from all the teams at St Helier, Keith can hopefully look forward to getting back on the green and having a game or two again in the not too distant future.