On Saturday 26th September 2015 the Widows Sons Motorcycle Club pushed a hospital bed 42km (the distance of an official marathon) from Rangiora Ambulance Base to Christchurch Hospital.

The Motorcycle Club had decided that they wanted to help their local community and identified that the St Johns Ambulance needed to purchase 4 more very sophisticated defibrillators that cost approximately $25,000 each so the club set themselves a very ambitious goal of raising $100,000 for St John Ambulance, by getting sponsored to push a hospital bed for the length of a marathon.

Fortunately they did add some slightly better wheels to the bed as the castor wheels were never designed for bitumen roads! They hit the road at about 10:00am from the Rangiora St Johns Ambulance base.

The club had approached some businesses in the area for sponsorship, and that was when the Rapid Relief Team heard about the planned fundraiser and offered to support their cause. The RRT team set up firstly in Kaiapoi at the “bed pushers” second pit stop to provide refreshments when they arrived after the first 2 hours of the marathon. There was also a sausage sizzle available for Kaiapoi residents and supporters in exchange for a gold coin donation for St Johns. The waiting ambulance tended the first set of blisters that had formed on some of the bed pusher’s feet.

As the bed moved out of Kaiapoi and towards Christchurch the RRT team of volunteers packed up and went into Christchurch and re set up at the finish line on Rolleston Ave beside the Christchurch Hospital. There was a sausage sizzle and delicious beef burgers and water available for those that made a donation to St John.

When the weary team arrived at 6pm, in fading light, with the bed escorted by a St Johns ambulance they had been on the road for 7.5 hours. The pace had reduced from a run to more of a walk/limp/shuffle, but the RRT shelter set up in front of them was an encouraging site. The hot food, coffee, seats to rest their aching feet, and shelter from the rain team were very welcomed and much appreciated.

By the end of the day the Motorcycle Club had already received pledges totaling over $70,000 that would have “pushed them” well on the way to their very admirable goal. Unfortunately they were concerned about the dummy patient in the bed – she had endured such a bone jarring ride, and had a very obvious case of rigor mortis – no defibrillator was going to revive her!

Video published on Stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/72450369/marathon-effort-pushing-a-hospital-bed

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