COVID patient who spent 95 days in ICU raises £25,000 to thank Fife hospital staff

A Fife man who spent almost 100 days in intensive care after getting COVID has raised £25,000 to help staff and patients.

Friday, 1st July 2022, 11:03 am

Niall Williams was fit and active, and had no underlying health conditions - but the 48-year old ended up in an induced coma at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.

The Dalgety Bay man also spent three months in rehabilitation as he rebuilt his life.

Now, three NHS Fife departments are set to benefit from his generous donation to the Fife Health Charity following an impressive fundraising effort.

Niall Williams spent 95 days in intensive care after contracting COVID at the start of the pandemic.

Intensive care and physiotherapy at the Vic will benefit, along with the Sir George Sharp Unit in Cameron Hospital, Leven, which specialises in neurological rehabilitation, will share £25,444 to support staff and patients in the months and years ahead.

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The money was raised when Niall launched Challenge 95 - a bid to walk 95 miles in 95 days to mark the number of days he spent in intensive care.

He was joined by family, friends, neighbours ad fellow Scouts who staged a host of fundraising events to boost his total.

Niall Williams, who spent 95 days in intensive care after contracting COVID has raised £25,000 for Fife Health Charity

Niall said: "I wanted to show my appreciation and give back to the NHS that ultimately saved my life.

“Challenge 95 was born, where I challenged myself and friends to do something relating to the number of days I spent in ICU.

"I challenged myself to walk 95 miles in 95 days. This was a real challenge for me, as when I left hospital, I was unable to walk unaided.

“I also wanted to do something that would help me appreciate just how long 95 days is."

Niall caught COVID-19 at the very start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Explorer Scout leader was taken to intensive care where he suffered multiple complications as a result of coronavirus infection, even spending an extended period in an induced coma. This led to lack of mobility and inability to do basic tasks including moving, walking, talking and eating once he regained consciousness.

Niall then spent some time in Ward 43 at Vic before being transferred to the Sir George Sharp Unit, where he spent a further three months undergoing a range of specialised rehabilitation therapies to help recovery, regain strength and begin the process of rebuilding his life.

Niall’s challenge saw supporters stage a host of events around the ‘95’ theme - from daily drawings for 95 days to cycling 95 miles, and learning to tie 95 knots.

One of his favourite challenges was a pledge by his three-year-old niece to jump into 95 puddles in a month - a real test given that May 2021 was uncharacteristically dry for Scotland!

Mark McGeachie, charity Director for the Fife Health Charity, said: “I would like to thank Niall for his extremely kind and generous donation, and offer my congratulations on such an incredible fundraising achievement.

“Niall’s donation will certainly be put to good use, enabling us to fund enhancements to the care we provide to patients when they are at their most vulnerable, and indeed to better support their families and those around them.”

Fife Health Charity was founded more than 70 years ago, and was previously known as Fife Health Board Endowment Fund.

It has supported countless initiatives for the benefit of patients and NHS staff in the Kingdom of Fife.