Chigwell resident cycling to Southend for team at Queen’s Hospital who helped mum back from the brink
- Credit: Archant
A man is taking on a charity cycle ride to raise money for the Queen’s Hospital team who helped his mum battle back from the brink.
On September 13, Adam Shinebroom, of Chigwell, will cycle the 106km to Southend and back with all proceeds going to the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity.
Hazel Shinebroom has been in hospital since collapsing on May 1. She’s now in the neuro-critical care ward at Queen’s after spending seven weeks in the ITU. For six of those the 71-year-old was in a medically-induced coma.
Watching how the neuro-team have cared for his mother made Adam want to do something.
The bike ride was decided quite recently. Within 24 hours of going online, the fundraiser had already amassed almost £3,500. In the time since, it has exceeded that.
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When the Recorder caught up with Adam, he could barely contain his gratitude at the support he has received.
The 41-year-old was frank when explaining why he’s doing this: “The team at Queen’s work miracles with what they have.
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“We want to help them get even better facilities. We’ll be helping the people who help my mum, and that’s good enough for me.”
Hazel’s decline began when she and Adam both developed suspected coronavirus in March. Though this was never confirmed, Adam is certain — “I had never experienced anything like it”.
He and his mum got better, though that changed in early May when Hazel was admitted to hospital.
From there, she quickly went into the ITU.
Coronavirus meant that, during this period, nobody was able to see Hazel in person, although Adam’s 43-year-old sister Zoe was summoned to the hospital by what Adam terms “the end-of-life phone call”.
Adam recalls just how close to death his mum was: “There were times when I thought ‘this is it’.”
May and most of June were a blur. It wasn’t clear what had caused Hazel’s decline; doctors first suspected it was a stroke, though this proved not to be the case.
It was eventually confirmed she had contracted meningitis. Adam admits relief at having some clarity on his mum’s condition.
By the end of June, Hazel had woken up from her coma, and was well enough to be discharged from the ITU around a week later.
Adam said he was “overjoyed” at being able to see his mum for the first time in weeks at the beginning of July.
He explains that although staff were brilliant at setting up Zoom calls while Hazel was in the ITU, it was no substitute for the real thing.
Through July and August Hazel has continued her recovery in the critical care ward. Though she can’t walk or stand up yet, she can now pull herself up.
Almost as importantly, Adam says her sparkle is coming back: “She’s getting back to herself — a lot of the old Hazel-isms are coming out.”
Much of this to down to Hazel’s partner, Tony Martin.
Adam describes the 75-year-old as “my mum’s medicine”, and is full of admiration for how he has spent hour after hour at her bedside.
Tony and Hazel found love after each losing their spouse, and Adam couldn’t be prouder of their relationship.
Hazel’s husband — and Adam’s dad — Stephen Shinebroom died after suffering a heart attack almost 11 years ago.
Adam has purposely chosen the date of the upcoming anniversary – September 13 – for the cycle: “I always find that day hard. This has given me a purpose.”
Hazel’s next step is to move to a rehab facility. With a place at The Putney Clinic secured, she has been given the blessing of the team at Queen’s to move once the waiting list clears.
This will represent a “wonderful day” for the whole family, says Adam. Not only a mother, Hazel is also the beloved grandmother of Adam’s two children, Brooke, 13 and Joe, 11, who he shares with wife Gemma; Zoe’s three children, and the entirety of Tony’s brood.
She has so much love to come home to, he says.
With just under a month left until the cycle,Adam has roped in family friends Josh Brandon and Adam James to ride alongside him.
As far as a target goes, the sky’s the limit: “We want to raise as much as we can for the people who work so hard for my mum, and for other people like her.”
Asked to describe his mother, Adam says: “She’s an incredible woman — our mother hen.”
To donate, visit Adam’s JustGiving page.