The Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge – June 30th

Update posted by Anna Read On Nov 22, 2018

Hi everyone ,

I can't tell you how much effort Louise has to put in on a daily basis. Because of my pressure sores on my legs she has to help me with the transfers from bed to shower chair and again from bed to wheelchair. Also Lou has to deal with most of the chores and the cooking ,which pre accident we used to share.So thank you Lou for being there, I appreciate you so much.

A fantastic summer followed by a stunning autumn and here we are on the cusp of Christmas. Hardly any rain but great light and warmth,for me I couldn't have had a better year in which to recover in. It only feels like yesterday I left hospital ,although in reality have come a long long way with regards my general health and well-being.

My upper body strength continues to improve, helping with my balance and transfers,all this is making a difference now that in physio I'm getting to the standing position again. It's been nearly 6 months since I was last able to get to my feet with Mick’s support.

In early October I had a minor operation on my right leg to help improve the blood flow and help the healing process on my pressure sores. This was a great success, carried out by a great team of people at Cheltenham hospital. Thanks all of you for your brilliant service.

Unfortunately I have had to up my strong painkillers again due to discomfort with my nerve endings around my injury. I was trying to cope without them, but I took advice and am now a lot more comfortable. The only other complication has been a water infection that knocked me for six for about ten days. I'm now over it ,but had forgotten how rubbish these things can make you feel. Again Lou was there, staying awake all night, keeping a eye out for me.All in all though,going forward is starting to feel quite exciting.

I have had couple of nice times recently. A fund raising night for William Bennett, a fellow climber who I met in hospital ,was put on by Red Point climbing centre Bristol, and Wills friends.I wasn't sure how I would feel returning to a place where I used to have a lot of fun. I thought that I might feel envy or upset about my injury. In fact the opposite happened - both Lou and I had a great night. About 15 climbers I know turned up and added to an already brilliant atmosphere. I'm sure that Will will be part of the Para GB climbing team in the very near future.Well done Red point for allowing it to happen.

That night I invited my climbing mates round for a party a couple of weeks later, just to say thanks for being there for me at hospital and afterwards when I came home. We cooked some lovely curries and Linda Dinton baked a perfect coffee and walnut cake which went down a treat. Anyway, that was a lovely day with all of them.

Now, a few thank yous are in order.

Firstly thanks to Baileys Paints in Stroud for fundraising on the launch of their new Farrow and Ball range selling coffee and cake to donate it to John's Journey.

Jane and Bern Currie were asked by their friends what present they would like for their 50th wedding anniversary. They asked their friends to donate the money to me.I am so grateful for your donation and will make sure that it's spent wisely.

Shaun, Debbie,Will and Ellie did a mud run at Eastnor Castle to raise some money for me.Thank-you for doing that and I’m really looking forward to seeing you over Christmas and New Year.

My older brother Mark and sister in law have given me a large donation towards a motorised trike wheelchair which I will be fitted for early next year. I can't wait to get out and about in the countryside again, this chair will make all the difference.

Thank-you all the people who have donated into John's Journey, you are making a marked different to our lives, we are incredibly appreciative for this.

Thanks again Anna from Clobber, Di from Buskins and Philippa and Becky from Peter Joy for your continuing support.

My last thanks is to my neighbour Katie Jarvis who interviewed me for an article in Cotswold life. She made it very easy to do: a brilliant passionate journalist.

Until the next time.....


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Update posted by Anna Read On Jun 26, 2018

4 days to go until I head up the Cotswold Way

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Update posted by Anna Read On Jun 08, 2018

Only 3 weeks to go until my Cotswold Challenge. This weekend I’m supposed to be doing 2 long back to back runs but this morning’s trail romp found me and my two running partners totally lost up some Cotswold Valley which prolonged our run in time but not in distance. Managed to enjoy a pork pie on a brief break overlooking some stunning valleys in Bagpath! My dog Margot joined us on today’s run. Can’t think of anything better than being out in the middle of nowhere with my woofer. So good for the soul!

Looking forward to 30th June in an odd way!

Thank you so much to all those who have sponsored me so far. Everything I manage to raise will be going towards John’s Journey. As a community we are trying to raise enough money to help pay for John’s ongoing physiotherapy costs so anything you are able to pledge will be a valuable contribution to Johns continued rehabilitation.

Happy weekend all.

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Update posted by Anna Read On May 21, 2018

On June 30th, I will be donning my trainers to run 50km along the Cotswold Way from Bath to Wotton Under Edge. This is the second year that the event has been held and hundreds of runners take part, most raising money for a cause close to their heart.

John Bowen is my friend and work colleague, Lou's, husband. Last August he suffered a heart attack whilst up ladder, painting the second storey of a house in Nailsworth. He fell and broke his back, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. This wonderful Nailsworth couple have had to move from their much loved cottage, where they have lived for over 20 years, as access for a wheelchair was simply not possible.

John has spent 7 months in the Spinal Unit in Salisbury and he has been updating us his on Facebook page ‘Johns Journey’ (@johnsjourneynailsworth) about life since coming out of hospital. There have been many ups and downs as Lou and John come to terms with some major life changes. One of the up sides, however, has been the introduction of local physiotherapist Mick O’Hara to Johns convalescence. Mick currently treats John three times week, aiming to improve both Johns flexibility, upper body and core strength and this in turn is producing major improvements in his mental wellbeing. Mick has given John a new focus in life with weekly targets as he adapts to life in a wheelchair. The down side however is that with John being unable to work and with Lou caring for him full time income is limited for this wonderful Nailsworth couple and at some point the funds for this invaluable physiotherapy will run out.

Individually it is very difficult for us to make a great difference to Lou and Johns life but as a community we hope,and believe, that we can enhance the quality of John’s life by means of funding his ongoing physiotherapy costs.
I have known Lou for over 15 years and have witnessed the endless acts of goodwill charity and help she has given to others over the years. Now it is our turn to help her and John.
We are all bombarded daily from requests world wide to donate to some amazing causes and some we hold closer to our heart than others. I am excited by the fact that we as a local community might be able to make a fundamental change to one couples life by simply joining forces thus enabling John to continue receiving the physio treatment he so desperately needs.

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Sorry to be late but huge congratulations on this amazing fundraiser. Loads love xxx

Ruth and Dougie Mottram

Backed with £25.00 On Jul 11, 2018


Well done Anna & crew. Great run in all the heat!!

Sarah Rind

Backed with £30.00 On Jul 01, 2018


Well done Anna! You are amazing!

Nick & Sera Williams

Backed with £50.00 On Jul 01, 2018


You are amazing, well done!!! Love Cathy

Cathy York

Backed with £20.00 On Jul 01, 2018


Well done Span! Love from the Ravers!! Xxx

Sarah Ravenhill

Backed with £20.00 On Jun 30, 2018


Speechless! Xxxx

Emma Lange

Backed with £25.00 On Jun 30, 2018


Anna, cant believe you are even trying to do this today on such a scorcher. Hope you dont just melt. Simon, Jane & Jen

Jane Weston

Backed with £30.00 On Jun 30, 2018


Team Bowditch

Backed with £25.00 On Jun 30, 2018


What an amazing challenge. We'll be thinking of you. The Gibbos

Philip Gibson

Backed with £20.00 On Jun 29, 2018


Go, Anna , you have done so much training and will be brilliant. Love Myra, Brian, Scott and Gavin

Myra Patterson

Backed with £10.00 On Jun 29, 2018

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Anna Read

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Emma Darbyshire

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