Janet and Ruby walk Hike for Health in memory - Barts Charity
Janet, Ruby and Karl pictured together in St Bartholomew's Square

Fundraisers Janet and Ruby walk Hike for Health in memory of Karl

After her husband Karl sadly passed away last year, Janet decided to take on Hike for Health with her daughter Ruby to say thank you for his care.
  • Date: August 25, 2023

Remembering Karl

In 2022, Karl was admitted to the family’s local hospital after he became unwell. Karl was later transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hosptial in 2023 for specialist care and a heart operation. Despite initially responding well to antibiotics following his diagnosis, the infection that had deteriorated his heart valve had spread.  

Sadly, Karl passed away in May 2023 leaving behind his wife Janet and daughter Ruby, who have been fundraising in his memory. 

“Despite the hard work of the doctors and nurses in ICU, there was nothing they could do to prevent the sepsis. The last time I saw him conscious, he told me he loved me and to text him to let him know I got home safely. I spent the next three weeks telling him I loved him and hoping that he could hear me,” recounts Janet on her last moments with Karl.

“Karl was the life and soul of our family. The joker and the support. He was always ready to give the advice you needed and make sure that you could be the best you. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but we are raising money in his memory to help support St Bartholomew’s and all the fantastic work they do,” shared Janet. 
Janet, Hike for Health Fundraiser

A walking duo

Janet is no stranger when it comes to fundraising. After walking an overnight marathon in London in 2021, Janet was hooked. She went on to complete a staggering 14 walking events in 2022, participating in everything from marathons to 100km events in aid of Cancer Research UK.

With more events planned in 2023, Janet was forced to pull out when Karl was admitted to hospital. However, Ruby is helping Janet keep up her passion for walking. Together they enjoy long walks where they can chat without distraction from the outside world. The pair would walk every weekend to visit Karl in their local hospital before he was transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Mother-daughter duo Janet and Ruby training for Hike for Health

Janet and Ruby Hike for Health

To honour Karl’s memory and say a big thank you to the team that cared for him, Janet and Ruby decided to take part in our first ever Hike for Health event – an urban hike across East London, raising vital funds to help transform healthcare for our community. They managed to raise an incredible £3,729!

The family is devastated about Karl’s passing and though his absence leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family, they wanted to give back and say thanks to the hospital staff who had cared for Karl. Spotting the Hike for Health leaflets, they knew they had to take part.  

In the lead up to Hike for Health, Janet and Ruby undertook training walks over the summer. She took learnings from her previous events on how to help out the course participants by bringing plasters, sweets and a few sage words of encouragement for other participants. 

“My Dad was looked after by the amazing team at St Bartholomews Hospital in April and May 2023. He had the best care we could have wished for and we are beyond grateful to all the staff. Dad was the life and soul of our family. He made terrible jokes that made me laugh and sneakily gave me biscuits when mum wasn't looking...I will miss him and he won't be around to see me live my life to the fullest...I will be walking as far as I can with my Mum to raise as much money as possible in his memory.
Ruby, Karl's daughter and Hike for Health Fundraiser

Ruby on a training walk for Hike for Health

An amazing day

On the day itself, both Janet and Ruby completed the full 15K course, and had an incredible time with their fellow hikers. Janet says: “The event was great. There was loads of rest stops, and we very much appreciated the coffee van! There were former patients and staff, and the atmosphere was so lovely.”

“I’m really proud of Ruby – she did absolutely brilliantly and she’s now got the medal on display in her room!”

Ruby and Janet at the finish line of Hike for Health 2023

Open to all

Since taking part last year Ruby has carried on walking, and they are both so excited to be taking part this year. They have even managed to get other family members on board! Janet loves how the event allows people of all levels of fitness to take part, with three distance options of 5k, 10k and 15k.

“It’s a really nice challenge to set yourself, without having to do intense training. The smaller distances means that everyone can get involved and raise money without feeling like they have to do something extreme. It’s great that everyone can experience that achievement, no matter what your fitness level is.”

Join the Hike for Health

We are immensely grateful to Janet and Ruby for taking part in Hike for Health, and for sharing their family’s story. 

By taking on Hike for Health, you’ll be supporting life-changing improvements to healthcare for patients in East London. Come together with friends, family or colleagues and you’ll be part of the historic 900th anniversary celebrations of St Bartholomew’s Hospital.  

Under 16’s register and take part for free if accompanied with a parent or guardian. Don’t forget to apply our code NHS50 at checkout for our summer discount – 50% off registration fees.

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