Lasting legacy of Cowley postman installed at John Radcliffe Hospital

13 Feb 2017, 15:15 ... _Hospital/

Paul's father, Cyril and his daughter Zoe sit on two of the six special chairs bought for the CTCCU at the John Radcliffe Hospital, surrounded by the nurses that work there

A FATHER has spoken of his 'overwhelming' joy after scores of friends and workmates pulled together to fundraise in memory of his son.

Cyril Warmington, 73, from Boars Hill, near Oxford, thanked all those that took part raising more than £5,000 after the untimely death of city postman Paul Warmington last year.

The money has been used to buy six special chairs for the Cardiac and Thoracic Critical Care Unit (CTCCU) at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital for the comfort of future patients.

Paul, a father-of-three from Cowley, suffered a cardiac arrest in March while on his post round in Botley and died two weeks later on the ward, aged just 51.

Mr Warmington said: "When Paul passed away it was traumatic for all of us but we were so impressed with the care and sincerity of those in the hospital.

"There's no question about it; they are true angels. Because we knew the inevitable was going to happen, we decided as a family we would get something for the ward."

Three of Paul's ex-schoolmates and colleagues from his time at Oxford Bus Company, Neil Samworth, Gwyn Jones and Mark Rayson, contacted the family on Facebook.

Together they arranged the Ride for Paul event, saw postmen and bus drivers cycle join forces to cycle triumphantly through the streets in memory of Paul.

Then in September Kieran Davis, a good friend of Paul's son Adam, organised a white-collar, black tie boxing event at the Kassam Stadium to contribute to the cause.

Along with 'rather large' donations from Royal Mail and Oxford Bus Company the group raised a grand total of £5,025. Their target had been £3,000.

Mr Warmington said: "To be there on the day of the ride and see all these guys and ladies on their bikes, riding for your son... on the day Paul was with us. That's how it felt.

"It was incredible. It was down to Paul's popularity; as a father when you realise your son was so popular you can't help but get overwhelmed by it."

Instead of donating the money outright Mr Warmington approached the CTCCU's lead nurse, Caroline White, to ask what they wanted the most for the space.

The result was six highly specialised chairs for people in recovery that are fully-adjustable, with lumbar support, head rests and wheels, that are not available on the NHS.

They have now been installed and are already being used by patients at the site. Mr Warmington said: "All the nurses said these chairs are wonderful.

"The whole thing has been so lovely. There was initially an awful amount of sadness, but now we feel nothing but happiness and joy.

"Let's hope it starts a new trend and inspires people to people go to the hospital and ask what they would really like."

Joe Baker of ORH Charitable Funds, the charity arm of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We would like to thank everyone who supported the fundraising efforts to ensure that family and friends of Paul.

"Donations like these really do make a difference to our patients and staff, to ensure they have the best possible experience within our hospitals."

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