Our thoughts are with @pamelastephenson & @Billy_Connolly

Our thoughts and best wishes are with actor and comedian Billy Connolly who suffered a life threatening blood clot after surgery, and also with Pamela Stephenson.

Comic Billy Connolly suffered a life-threatening blood clot that doctors failed to spot after he underwent surgery for prostate cancer, his wife has revealed. She told the Daily Mail: “I knew it was a clot but the doctors weren’t listening to me.”

Blood Clots (DVT’s, Pulmonary Embolisms) can show as other symptoms and their diagnosis can, at times be confused, however, it’s about time that the medical professionals, the NHS and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt @jeremy_hunt took the life threatening condition seriously. 

Charity Oars is a small charity who are trying to make some noise about blood clots and the devastating effect they have on our lives. More people die of blood clots every year than those who sadly die of Breast Cancer, Aids and RTC’s combined.

So if you can, please follow @charityoars on twitter or our Facebook page at Charity Oars and lets work together to raise awareness of the life threatening condition.

To read more about Billy Connolly and the response to Pamela Stephenson’s anguish, the full article (reproduced with kind permission of Talk Talk) can be found here Full article 

Our thoughts are with Chris Tweedy

A new friend via the Lifeblood Charity Facebook page, recalls the sad reality of a lack of awareness and understanding of thrombosis by a far too large a percentage of the medical community. Charities like Lifeblood are working hard to raise awareness of the many causes of thrombosis and the many ways that such dreadful scenarios can be averted. The consequences of a DVT or Pulmonary Embolism are (to put it simply) a matter of life and death. 

The whole reason behind the Charity Oars campaign is to work with people in the public eye to help raise awareness of Thrombosis (DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms), this is why we need your support.

In a recent statement Chris Tweedy says;

“My wife, Nicky, died of a Pulmonary Embolism less than 48 hours after having varicose vein surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. This hospital are not following the NICE Guidelines on DVT/PE prevention. They failed to complete a DVT Risk Assessment, failed to take account of her individual risk factors, switched her surgeon without her knowledge or consent, took nearly twice the time over her surgery as indicated by NICE as putting the patient at increased risk, sent her home late at night against my wishes, gave us no information on the signs and symptoms of DVT or PE and failed to give her pharmacological DVT prophylaxsis on a take home basis despite them being clearly indicated for someone with her risk factors, the length of her surgery and her very significantly reduced mobility. I am sure that there will be others out there who have unfortunately suffered the same. If there are please could you share your experiences with me. This hospital have had 2 deaths in a year from PE’s following varicose vein surgery. No lessons were learnt the first time around but I am determined they will learn the lessons from my wife’s death. Thank you.”

NICE Guidelines

Many thanks to @AllanLamb294

What a cracking morning, not even the road works in Northampton could put a damper on my start to the day.

With cricketing stats (not too far from my very own, well maybe just a tad better, I say tad, more like considerably better) sorry, as I was saying … with 79 tests, scoring over 4600 runs, with 14 centuries and a top score of 142, 122 ODi’s, scoring over 4000 runs with 4 centuries and a top score of 118, and FC stats of 467 games, scoring over 35,000 runs, with 89 centuries and a top score of 294, I had the pleasure of meeting the blooming lovely Alan Lamb …!

Alan has very kindly not only signed the #charityoars but also the #charitybat and has also very kindly donated a signed print to help the fundraising campaign.

I spent many an hour watching Alan bat at the County Ground and a few too many hours watching him bat for England so to have the support of Alan for the Charity Oars campaign is a great treat for me.

So from a rather dodgy right hand bat to one of the games most talented chaps, a big thank you for your time and support.


Huge thank you to our new friend Paul Bellamy …!

Last night I received a phone call from Cambridgeshire Police, our truck had been found..! We are obviously pleased about this and of course our thanks go out to Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Police who have helped deal with the matter.

However, huge thanks and a gentlemanly salute to a new friend of Charity Oars, Paul Bellamy. Now until the 12th June 2014 I had never met or heard of this fine chap, but at 16:21 he kindly sent a message via our Facebook page, letting me know that he’d found the truck and reported it to the police. How did he know it was ours? Well, a google of the registration number, a link to the blog, then a link to our Facebook page et voila…!! technology working at its’ best.

So from the Charity Oars to Paul Bellamy “THANK YOU”


See, it’s not all doom & gloom …!

Well, despite the fact that the Charity Oars truck has been stolen (along with my blue badge) I want to let you know that it’s not all doom and gloom out there …!

Having had a few messages from the rather charming Zoe Short (@ZoeShort) Charity Oars have been selected as @Excel_Data recipient of their CSR programme to have a web-site developed which will enable us to interact with even more organisations and help raise awareness of the campaign to a far wider audience.

The site will be launched within the next few months and we genuinely can’t wait…! So please keep a look out for updates and the launch date as I’m sure there’s going to be quite a lot of interesting features to the site.

Again, thank you for all of your comments and support, it means a great deal not only to me personally, but to those who have supported myself and the charity for the past 3 years.


Trials and Tribulations

Well before I update you all on how things are progressing, I’m afraid I have some sad news. On Tuesday night my only mode of transport was stolen from outside our property. I know people say “car theft is a victimless crime” and “well, you’re insured”, all I can say is that 50% of those statements are correct. The reality is, I’m now housebound, we probably won’t get back anywhere near the value of the truck that has been stolen, meetings for @charityoars are having to be rescheduled and it’s fair to say I’m just a tad peeved..!

Cambridgeshire Police have been “OK” about the theft, apparently it’s not a 999 phone call case, it’s a 101 phone call, wait for 20 minutes, get redirected 5 times, speak to someone miles away. That’s OK, just thought you’d like to maybe look on the A14 right now as it’s surely going to be on that dam road…!

So whilst I, my dodgy legs, my new trusty Blue badge, and the Charity Oars are housebound we shall remain optimistic, to whoever is driving the stolen Mitsubishi L200 “Strada” an automatic in silver (with my old Blue Badge in the cab), it uses a lot of diesel, the rear drivers side has a slow puncture and using my Blue Badge is illegal, so please be careful…!

To anyone who might see the truck, please let the police know. WU53 EEM


Reality really does suck sometimes…!

Have you ever wanted to just go to sleep, maybe with the option of never waking up? Today is one of those days (the going to sleep bit) as for the “not waking up” bit, the jury is out at the moment, I’m going for a straight 12 – 0 jury clears the guilty of all charges relating to not wanting to wake up again (I have a great defence team called coffee and stubborn attitude).

Now I know for some out there this stark statement might sound scary, you might not understand the thought process behind it. You may also look through the other posts on the blog and think “he’s not normally this depressing, usually quite upbeat if the truth be said..!” Both statements are 100% correct and accurate. What has this all got to do with the @charityoars though?

It has everything to do with the campaign that is Charity oars. Quite simply raising awareness of Pulmonary Embolisms, DVT’s, Thrombosis is vital. What sort of person would I be if I just sat here moping around not caring if other people had to experience things that I have experienced when there is absolutely no need for them to do so.

This morning I had my jolly old INR checked. I stroll into the anticoagulation ward, saying my hellos, sit in my chair and wait for Sue, Jane, Carol, Caroline or Caroline to smile and say “your turn Paul..!” We make pleasant conversation, natter about the newbies sat outside looking nervous, I stick my thumb out, they cause an immense amount of pain and up pops the claret. The machine goes beep and I await the wonderful news that the result is over 2.0. Great when that happens…! This morning though, the bloody machine went 1.7….!! 1 point bloody 7 I say….! At which point we all know the meaning of the news. I book next weeks appointment, stroll out, just get outside the clinic and then say “F&£K…..!!” The whole thing sucks, the whole thing shouldn’t be happening to me. I injured my knee playing tennis over 3 years ago, I now have to have weekly / fortnightly checks to make sure I will make it to the next week. All this because of a knee injury and the incompetence of a doctor at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

So @charityoars seems like a good idea to me. It’s a simple equation.  

(EMP) + (RMA) + (EP) + (RPA) = SL(S)

(Educate Medical Profession) + (Raise Medical Awareness) + (Educate Public) + (Raise Public Awareness) = Save Lives (simples)

So off I go to play tummy darts, I will probably have a sleep, I will be waking up as I’m not going to let this campaign of awareness fail, but I need your help.

So from a tad fed up chap, who over the next week will become a pin cushion for medical practices I bid you a good day. Until next time.