Children’s hospital staff raise almost £16,000 by swimming the English Channel

Six healthcare workers from a South London’s children’s hospital are in the swim of things when it comes to fundraising.

The intensive care professionals from Evelina London’s South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS) have swum the English Channel in aid of the hospital and the Children’s Air Ambulance.

The Evelina STaRfiSh Swimmers have raised £15,974.33 so far.

Taking part in the challenge were Dr Michael Carter, Laura Hillmansen, Alice Hogan, Jo Davies, Harriet Nowell and Jana Kovacikova.

Dr Michael Carter was the first swimmer to take to the water, starting at 12.30am. 

He said: “Starting at that time in the pitch black was definitely unnerving and extremely cold, but there was never any doubt we’d finish. 

“When caring for children in need, we do everything that we possibly can, and we brought that same attitude to finishing this swim. 

“Even in the cold and dark, we knew we could do it.”

The team swam more than 22.5 miles in 15 hours, with each member of the team taking it in turns to swim an hour at a time. 

During one of Dr Carter’s three legs of the journey, his teammates spotted a pair of killer whales just a hundred metres away.

He said: “As I was swimming I was oblivious to the orcas, but watching the videos the others took from the boat has added something even more special to such an amazing experience.”

 Jo Davies, a Retrieval Nurse Practitioner with STRS on the team, said: “The support we’ve had has been so incredible and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far. 

“In particular, the messages of support we have received from parents of children that we have cared for has been truly phenomenal and such a boost to the entire team.”

A further six healthcare workers will complete the Channel swim in September.

The STRS are a team of intensive care doctors and nurses based at Evelina London. 

They use an ambulance equipped with intensive care treatments to bring live-saving care to children in the south east of England who need to be transported to a pediatric intensive care units.

The money raised from the Channel swim relays will be split between STRS and the Children’s Air Ambulance.

To donate to the Evelina STaRfiSh Swimmers fundraising, visit:

Pictured top: Left to right – Laura Hillmansen, Dr Michael Carter, Harriet Nowell, Jana Kovacikova, Jo Davies, and Alice Hogan



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