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Friday, 20 October 2017
Steve Ball with Ipswich Hospital staff
Patient's thanks to 'hospital angels'
04 August 2017

A grateful patient who is receiving treatment for incurable cancer at our hospital has thanked the “angels in uniform” for giving him “excellent” care by walking the Norfolk coastal path.

Steve Ball, who lives in Capel St Mary, covered the 53-mile distance from Hunstanton to Cromer in just five days, despite suffering severe blisters and inadvertently adding an extra three miles to his route after getting lost.

By completing the challenge, the 65-year-old raised around £2,000 for the hospital’s Oncology Unit, where he has been receiving care for the past 13 months after being diagnosed with cancer of the unknown primary.

The money will go towards an upgrade of the department’s mobile EGC machine, which is used to monitor patients' heart rhythms.

“I have always done a lot of walking and was inspired to walk the Norfolk coastal path after I heard one of the nurses talking about abseiling down the hospital’s maternity block,” said Steve, who was supported on the walk by his wife Maralyn and daughter’s Carla and Kelly. “I decided that I’d like to do my bit to raise some money too.

“The care I’ve received at the hospital has been really excellent – I always say the staff are angels in uniform and I often bake cakes to thank them after I’ve finished a course of chemo. It’s nice that now I’ve been able to do something to help other patients as well.

“The only problem I had during the walk was when I got severe blisters and didn’t think I’d be able to complete the final day. But my youngest daughter turned up to surprise me, and with encouragement from her and my whole family, I made it to the end despite walking an extra three miles after getting lost!”

Mandy Jordan, head of fundraising and charity at the Ipswich Hospital Charity, said: “We are really grateful to Steve for his fantastic donation, which will make a real difference to future patients receiving care on the unit. He did an amazing job to complete the walk and is a real hospital hero.”