Mike on a bike for former Durrington teacher

Friends and colleagues have pledged to support the hospital that has helped a former Worthing teacher with a terminal illness.

Saturday, 30th July 2016, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:57 am
Mike Oakley with friend Gill Luck, who insired his ride

Gill Luck has chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, a rare illness with limited life expectancy.

Papworth Hospital in Cambridge has saved her life more than once, performing groundbreaking surgery called pulmonary endarterectomy on her in 2005 and 2009.

She said: “This amazing open heart and lung surgery helped me not just from a health point of view but it has also enabled me to continue working as a teacher at Durrington High School.

Crossing the finishing line

“Unfortunately, my condition is deteriorating and I am no longer able to work. I am tied to an oxygen concentrator 24 hours a day.”

Friend Mike Oakley completed the London to Brighton bike ride in aid of Papworth Hospital and another friend, a former colleague from Durrington High School, has decided she will take up the same challenge in 2017.

Mike and Gill were part of a group of friends at school in Scunthorpe 40 years ago. They reconnected via Facebook and Gill’s story inspired Mike’s fundraising.

Gill said: “I do feel so honoured that my friends are so supportive of me and of the hospital that have saved my life and continue to manage this dreadful terminal disease that I have.

“Mike was dedicated to raising awareness of pulmonary hypertension and raising money to contribute to the research that might hopefully find a cure for this cruel, currently incurable disease.”

Mike has so far raised just over £1,500. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mike-Oakley4 to make a donation.

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