Muswell Hill mum plans 300km cycle trek across Kerala to raise £20k for Whittington Hospital garden makeover

The patch of land at the Whittington Hospital needs restructuring and resurfacing work. Picture: L S

The patch of land at the Whittington Hospital needs restructuring and resurfacing work. Picture: L SEARLE - Credit: Archant

The mother of a 10-year-old girl who survived a brain swelling is cycling 300km in a bid to create a garden for children at the Whittington Hospital where her daughter was treated.

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE - Credit: Archant

Lucy Searle wants to raise £20,000 to transform a “depressing” patch of outdoor space at the hospital in Magdala Avenue into an inviting play area for young patients and their families to use.

Ms Searle’s daughter Edie was diagnosed with swelling of the brain after being rushed to A&E at the Whittington in 2011 suffering from a seizure.

Doctor’s prepared parents Lucy and David to expect the worst and warned them if their daughter pulled through the best they could expect was for her to be left with epilepsy.

Thankfully, Edie pulled through, but has been left with epilepsy and has to make regular trips to The Whittington – where in the summer she underwent vagal nerve surgery to regulate her brain’s electrical activity – besides taking medication daily.

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE - Credit: Archant


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As a thank you to the hospital Ms Searle is now preparing to cycle across Kerala, India, to help give the land sandwiched between wards a much-needed makeover.

Ms Searle, who has an older daughter Lola, said: “Hospitals can be miserable places, but for people like us, who spend a lot of time at the Whittington, the actual surroundings can make a massive difference to our experience.”

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The self-employed property journalist from Dukes Avenue, Muswell Hill, is now training for the ride in March at gym Equal Results along with family friend and Whittington paediatric consultant Kerry Robinson – who specialises in epilepsy and intends to join her for the trip.

Asked about her fundraising method, Ms Searle said: “We wanted to go for something that would fire imaginations and be a challenge for us. Edie has gone through so much pain and trauma and there’s no way we can match that. If I could take away her pain I would. But if we can do something making us feel a bit of pain, in no way matching Edie’s, I will feel like we’re a bit worthier of the money,” the 51-year-old added.

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE

Edie, mum Lucy, dad David and olde sister Lola. Picture: L SEARLE - Credit: Archant

Edie, a St James’ primary school pupil who sells loom bands for the Whittington outside her school, is excited by her mum’s cycle ride and the prospect of raising money for the hospital.

“As a community we can make a big difference to hospitals like the Whittington,” Ms Searle said.

To donate visit the Justgiving website.

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