Roxy Afzal, a staff nurse on the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mary’s Hospital has raised an incredible £1,083.91 for the ward she works on, by organising a mammoth six-hour sponsored Hula-thon.
Roxy was joined on Wednesday 8th March, International Women’s Day, by fellow staff at the hospital Trust Josie and Brittany who together hula-hooped at the hospital site for a combined time of six hours, to raise money to help the premature babies on the neonatal unit. The money will go towards purchasing a High Frequency Oscillation Ventilator which will ensure that the smallest and sickest babies who don’t respond to conventional ventilators can receive the best possible treatment available.
Dressed in the hospital’s colour purple, Roxy and friends incorporated different tricks into their hula routines using their body, shoulders and arms! The hula-thon challenge attracted lots of attention from visitors to the hospital, who donated generously in aid of the good cause.
Roxy comments: “I’ve worked in healthcare for the past seven years and I’m really passionate about working in NICU, as I see first-hand the amazing work the unit does. I really wanted to give something back which is why I came up with the idea of this unique fundraiser. I thought it would be fun to do something a bit different, which was also a challenge, and having started hula lessons about eight months ago I thought this was the perfect idea.
“We were incredibly lucky with the weather as the sun shone all day! The challenge was a lot more physically demanding than I thought it would be, but knowing the money was going towards such a great cause spurred us all on. The event was a bigger success than I anticipated, with friends, visitors to the hospital and the general public giving generously to a cause we are so proud to support.”
St Mary’s Hospital’s NICU specialises in the care of the smallest and sickest premature babies across the Greater Manchester area, with up to 1,000 babies admitted to the unit every year who require medical and surgical care.
Donna O’Reilly, Community Fundraising Officer for Saint Mary’s Hospital Charity comments: “Roxy should be proud to have organised such a fun, unique and successful fundraiser. It’s always lovely when staff at the hospital choose to fundraise and give back to the place they work – it shows just how passionate they are about the hospital. The hula-thon was a tough challenge to undertake but the girls took it in their stride and kept going till the very end.”