Corporate Information

Countess nurse to run Chester Half Marathon in memory of patient

A nurse from the Countess of Chester Hospital is running the Chester Half Marathon this weekend in memory of one of her patients.

Nikki Lee

Nicola Lee, a renal dialysis nurse, formed a close bond with John Cross over their mutual enjoyment of running during his regular visits to the hospital.

Their chats encouraged Nicola to raise awareness of kidney failure, but after John passed away late last year at the age of 54 she decided to run it in his honour as well.

“When I started running he used to talk to me about when he did marathons and those conversations inspired me to work harder and look to raise money,” Nicola said.

“It was a shock to all of us when he passed away and I just thought it would be nice to run the race in his name and increase awareness at the same time.”

Nicola first took up running with her husband Adrian, who also works at the hospital, to boost her own fitness after a pneumonia attack a few years ago.

She was left with breathing problems as a result and resolved to boost her lung capacity through regular exercise. It was during those first forays when John’s experience made a real difference and he was always following her progress.

John’s widow Lynn, who has been actively involved with fundraising for Kidney Research UK herself, was touched that Nicola thought about her late husband.

“We’re just so honoured that she thought of John at the time, because she could have just gone and done it for Kidney Research UK,” she said. “For me to have his name mentioned as well, it just means so much to us as a family because it’s remembering him.”

Nicola is now already planning to do the full Chester Marathon later this year as well.

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