04 May Bristol nurse hikes 44 miles in two days for Mercy Ships fundraiser
A nurse from Clevedon hiked the entire Gower coastline over a weekend, raising funds to bring life-changing surgery to those who need it most in Africa.
Katie Tremelling walked 44 miles from Crofty to Mumbles Pier to raise money for Mercy Ships over the Easter weekend. She will also be heading to Senegal, west Africa, to volunteer on the Global Mercy during her annual leave next month.
The 26-year-old, who works as a theatre nurse at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, has always wanted to use her nursing skills to help those who have no access to safe surgery through Mercy Ships.
“My feet are covered in blisters but when I thought, while I was walking, about how far some patients must walk or travel in the hope of treatment they could not get without Mercy Ships hospital ships, I dug deeper and kept going.”
Family and friends joined her on the route at various points to support her, walking 200km (136 miles) between them.
She is currently busy having all her vaccinations ready for heading off in June to volunteer on Mercy Ships’ newest hospital ship, the Global Mercy, which is in Dakar delivering free, world-class healthcare services, including surgery and training.
From correcting cleft lips, cleft palates and congenital deformities, to removing tumours and restoring eyesight, it is estimated that more than 150,000 lives will be changed on board the Global Mercy through surgery alone, over the vessel’s 50-year expected lifespan.
Katie, who is from Swansea originally, said:
“I first came across Mercy Ships one month before starting my nurse training at university. I was 18 and I went to a Christian festival and Mercy Ships was on all the big screens. I knew right then I wanted to go. For the past five years as a nurse, my desire has just grown.
“At work here, I see patients’ lives change every day with the treatment we are able to give and the people I am going out to treat through Mercy Ships have often been searching for medical care for so long. In sub-Saharan Africa, nine out of 10 people do not have access to safe surgery.”
Katie also held a quiz night at All Saints Church Hall, Clevedon with many businesses donating prizes for her fundraising raffle for the cause.
“I was blown away by the amount of generous donations from the local independent retailers. My husband John wrote the quiz as I have been busy working overtime at the hospital as well as finishing up my Masters. My friend brought the speaker and microphone and my dad bought the projector, so it was a big team effort.”
To help Katie hit her fundraising total of £3,000, visit: Fundraiser by Katie Tremelling : Get Katie to Senegal! (gofundme.com)
Thank you, Katie, for all you are doing!