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Harefield Hospital

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Hi, my name is Ben Wassell and over the course of the 2023 / 2024 academic year, I will be completing a number of events and challenges to raise money for Harefield Hospital who saved my life last summer.

The first event will be to complete the 'Three Peaks Challenge' which entails climbing the biggest mountains in England (Scafell Pike), Scotland (Ben Nevis) and Wales (Yr Wyddfa) within 24 hours on the weekend of the 29th September.

Long story short, at the end of June last year, I was admitted to our local hospital, apparently with an unknown and rather aggressive virus that was attacking my heart. Fairly quickly it became evident that my condition was well out of their remit so I was moved to the amazing Harefield Hospital which specialises in heart and lung issues.
I was diagnosed with myocarditis (massive inflammation of the heart muscle) among other things, which led to his heart failing, along with my lungs and kidneys. I spent the next two weeks in an induced coma and on a number of different life support machines.
As the hospital didn’t know the cause they basically fired every type of drug that they thought might help into my system and thankfully something clicked as I turned a corner and started to improve.
Once I woke up, he had another two weeks in ICU and then another 2 1/2 weeks on a ward recovering, before being discharged to start the long road to full health at home.
After spending the Autumn Term at home and the Spring Term 'easing myself' back in, I am now thankfully well on the way to my old self and able to train seriously again.

I have enlisted the help of 13 of my school pupils and 4 staff for this challenge and we hope to gather as much support as possible between now and the end of September!

The funds raised will go towards new Dialysis machines which will revolutionise this process, turning it from one of the most terrifying aspects of my stay in ITU (more below) into a much more relaxed and routine procedure.

Throughout my time in ITU there were only two things that really scared me - having a drain put into my chest to drain a large amount of fluid from around my heart (I was awake when they did this and it was pretty horrible), and the Dialysis that I had to have every other day for 10 days.

The current process of Dialysis takes 12 hours and has to be completed overnight. ITU at night is like being on the bridge of the DeathStar with everything pitch black except for the various machines that are keeping you alive, flashing and bleeping away. The worst part is that you can actually see your blood leaving your body, being whirred around a machine and then re-entering your blood supply which is a terrifying thought. You don't get much sleep when you are having Dialysis.
In addition to the stress on the patient, the procedure also puts a stress of a different kind of the hospital as there have to be two nurses in attendance at all times due to the nature of the process.

The new machines (which we are fundraising for) cut the amount of time that the process takes down to 4 hours and allows it to be completed during the day - a much nicer experience for all involved.



  • Anonymous
    • £15 
    • 2 d
  • John Houlton
    • £20 
    • 5 mos
  • Austin Dickinson
    • £10 
    • 5 mos
  • Ian Day
    • £50 
    • 5 mos
  • John McCarthy
    • £30 
    • 5 mos


Ben Wassell

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