Neil Dougherty's Ride for ECMO

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"We are cycling to Glenfield Hospital for Leicester Hospitals Charity because WE CAN! Thanks to ECMO.... I can too"

At 8pm on 14th April 2016, the Leicester ECMO Team left Glenfield Hospital and traveled to Bedford to carry out a vital and life saving procedure for Neil Dougherty. ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) is a very specialist way of aerating the blood outside of the body, to give the lungs and heart a chance to rest after severe trauma. Click here to read more about ECMO. 

Before the ECMO team made the trip to Bedford, Neil had been on a ventilator in Bedford Hospital since the early hours of the morning, resulting in his body being supplied with100% oxygen. Neil had previously had a stroke and a heart attack in hospital resulting in his lungs rapidly deteriorating. 

Although Neil was taken off of ECMO on 21st April 2016, things didn't start looking up for him. He was on dialysis for his kidneys and received Plasmapheresis which cleared his body of the antibodies that were attacking him.

Eventually, after months of running tests, Neil was given a diagnosis in April 2016, which he now knows to be Vasculitis. On 28th May 2016, Neil was finally able to return home and get back to normal again. 

Two years on, Neil and the ECMO team will be taking on the challenge to cycle 56 miles from Bedford Hospital to Glenfield Hospital. They will be setting off on 20th May 2018 to mark his two year anniversary on returning home. 

"This revolutionary equipment together with the ECMO specialists gave my body the survival kit to move into intensive care, eventually off of the ventilator, plasma exchange and dialysis. I could finally go home! I owe so much to the Glenfield and the team who supported me and my family. They are so amazing and passionate and that is why we are all so determined to give back by making that journey on our bikes"

Two years on I feel able to build my strength enough to make that journey from Bedford to Glenfield without the need of an ambulance!
— Neil Dougherty