RJAH patient thanks hospital for helping her to become a triathlon superhero

Release Date: 01/08/2017

RJAH patient thanks hospital for helping her to become a triathlon superhero

A long-standing patient at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital who is about to take on her first triathlon at the age of 61 says she wouldn’t have been able to get there without the hospital.

Mary Gowers will be taking part in the Superheroes Para Triathlon event on August 19, despite receiving treatment for inflammatory arthritis and damaged rotator cuffs, as well as suffering from fibromyalgia.

 In 2003, Mary also had surgery for rare form of cancer - synovial sarcoma ­- at the Oswestry-based hospital.

Despite her ongoing treatment, gutsy Mary will swim, cycle and walk or run to complete the challenge in aid of RJAH, something she says she wouldn’t be capable of without the treatment she received at the hospital.

She said: “I know how incredibly lucky I am and that’s all thanks to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital, that’s why I’ve chosen to raise funds for this wonderful hospital.

“My consultant is Mr [Roshan] Amarasena, who is absolutely fantastic but when I had my cancer op all those years ago I was treated by a world-class cancer surgeon. “

In preparation for the event, Mary spends her free time training in the three sporting areas that make up the challenge.

She said: “For this event I have re-learnt how to ride a bike after losing muscle from my right leg 15 years ago. I was told I would have very limited use of the leg, thanks to physio, and stubbornness, I can do most things. Not only riding a bike but I am just starting to be able to run short distances!

“I have also had to learn how to long-distance swim in a wetsuit, learning new strokes to accommodate my dodgy shoulders.”

The Superheroes Para Triathlon, taking place in Eton Dorney, is part of a special series of disability sporting events.

Mary, who lives in Ruthin in North Wales, said: “I follow disability sport, so when I heard about this I thought I could do that. It might be my first triathlon but I think I’ve got it in me.

To help Mary along the way, she will be supported by her daughter Liz Worman, who has also been a patient at RJAH, having had three reconstructions on her shoulder and many years of outpatients’ support.

She added: “Really we both want to give something back to the hospital that has made it possible for us to take part in this amazing event.”

Mary originally set herself a target of raising £300 for the hospital but has already smashed that goal – already reaching £400 before the event.

To show your support for Mary and RJAH, you can donate via her JustGiving page, which can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mary-gowers1

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