Since 2013, Rob Duckworth has taken on some epic fundraising challenges to support the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, including cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End.

Rob was inspired to fundraise after doctors on the Neuro Intensive Care Unit saved his life when he was involved in a near fatal road accident in 2007.

Without the efforts of staff on the ward, Rob is convinced he would not be alive today, “I lost 6 pints of blood at the scene of the accident and was in a coma for 4 weeks, doctors told my family that even if I did pull through I would have serious brain damage, but I somehow defied the odds.”

In lockdown, Rob decided to take on one of his toughest challenges yet, cycling the height of Everest in his garage to raise funds for hospital charity, Leeds Cares ‘Support your NHS Hospitals’ Appeal.

On the 17th April, Rob began his virtual 8,848m cycle, using his smart trainer and Zwift to stimulate the exact gradient of the climb. After over 12 gruelling hours of cycling, cheered on by his mum and dad and neighbours passing by, Rob completed his ascent of Everest.

It hasn’t been an easy journey to recovery for Rob, who has had to learn to walk and talk again following his accident, but he says it has taught him to live life to the full, “I have a completely new perspective on life and want to embrace every moment, I’m proud of how far I’ve come since then.”

Thanks to his remarkable fundraising efforts, Rob has raised over £2,500 which will enable Leeds Cares to provide NHS staff with vital support during this unprecedented time.

This will help fund, care packages, assistance with travel and accommodation where needed, as well as helping to fund other health and wellbeing initiatives to boost morale across the wards.