Donna and Toby are the landlords of The Victoria Inn, West Marden, in the beautiful South Downs countryside.
Donna fell ill with Covid-19 in mid-march 2020.
By the end of April 2020 Donna has been in St Richards for over 40 days, sedated and intubated for 35 days, and receiving incredible care.
Her husband Toby decided that he wanted to do something for the team who were looking after her so well. He started by asking what they needed, the answer was coffee (good coffee!) so with that as a goal he rallied his friends and family and they donated 6 coffee machines and over 4000 coffee pods but that was just he start.
With friends, family and colleagues donating goods, they started to create goody bags for the hospital staff. This then snowballed and they have been able to provide goody bags for not only all St Richards staff but 400 paramedics at other health care sites locally.
He was also donated £20,000 worth of hand sanitiser which has been distributed across West Sussex and Hampshire.
When Toby asked the hospital staff what they needed next they said “nothing, but we do have something we would like you to work on….”.
This is where they gave Toby the idea of developing further services for the ITU, to offer both patients and staff additional support in the form of counselling, emotional, practical, legal and financial advice.
Toby and Donna’s children are not able to visit her or see her, they have to work through the emotions, finances and other stress and strains of this situation by themselves.
There is currently no support to help guide them through this horrendous time. The nurses and doctors have given Toby the challenge of trying to change that for the future.
To date Toby has raised an incredible £50,000 through crowd funding.
However, he has now set himself a new target of £200,000 which will go towards helping set up a support network for staff, patients and their families who will find themselves affected by Covid-19.