West Hampstead IT manager’s hospital stay won’t stop his marathon charity fundraiser
- Credit: Supplied by Phil Bones
An intrepid charity fundraiser who was hospitalised for exhaustion after completing 15 marathons in a row walking from London to Edinburgh is pounding the pavements again in aid of a good cause.
Phil Bones, 48, an IT and facilities manager at a West Hampstead care services firm, had to have his mouth and neck drained and two teeth removed during a five-night hospital stay following the epic 15-day trek in August 2015.
Without rest he cycled 500 miles back to London after completing the gruelling walk.
He was hospitalised four days later for exhaustion and an infection in his mouth due to the conditions.
He was rushed to surgery.
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“I might have pushed myself a little too hard,” admits Phil, who has worked at Sweet Tree Home Care Services in Coleridge Gardens for 12 years.
“I also lost the feeling in my middle toes which took almost a year to come back.”
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But the ordeal has not deterred him and, after taking 2016 off to rest and heal, he is now ready for his next expedition walking to Paris.
The IT manager will set out in July and is raising money for the Tiger Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, which cares for children who have cancer. He is a regular visitor to the ward.
And this time rather than going it alone Phil will join a group of 12 people.
They will set off from the Globe Theatre in London on July 8 and aim to cover 25 to 30 miles a day reaching the Eiffel Tower in six days, including a short ferry ride.
Anyone who wants to join the group is “more than welcome” says Phil, although spaces are limited.
The 48-year-old, who lives in Kent, started doing charity events 13 years ago and says he “got hooked and never looked back”.
He has fundraised for a number of charities in the past including Help for Heroes, the British Heart Foundation and Headway North London.
His epic trek to Edinburgh in 2015 raised £6,382 for the Mulberry Centre in Richmond, which supports anyone affected by cancer.
When asked what the driving force behind his fundraising was, Phil said: “I do it to make a difference to anyone who doesn’t have the ability to help themselves right now.”
He continued: “The NHS has spent a lot of money keeping me going and if me helping someone makes them, later on, help somebody else, then that’s great.”
* To sponsor Phil visit this Virgin Money Giving page. If you would like to get involved with the Paris walk you can contact him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org