Nurses to trek in memory of 20-year-old Emma Woods
- Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop
Just nine months ago, the loved ones of a 20-year-old woman with a rare condition said their final goodbyes.
Now, friends and family of Emma Woods are embarking on a charity trek to help raise awareness of Turner Syndrome (TS).
Five paediatric nurses, who first met in 2014 when they worked together at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, have joined forces to climb Ben Nevis.
And leading the way is Miss Woods’ mother, Debbie Woods, who is putting on her hiking boots in memory of her daughter.
She said: "Emma was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome aged 13, and underwent hormone therapy.
"She was just 20 years old when she needed to have surgery to replace a valve in her heart and aorta resection.
"The dilatation of her aorta was only discovered following her diagnosis.”
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Miss Woods experienced complications during major heart surgery performed at St Bartholemew’s, in London, and died in August last year.
Mrs Woods, of Horsford, added: “Emma had a zest for life doing everything her own way.
“She was studying for a degree in photography at the University of East London at the time of her surgery. A dream she was never able to fulfil.
“She loved boy bands and would be at lots of gigs when time and money would allow, often travelling around the country with her best friend Lilee to see the same shows again and again.”
Turner Syndrome (TS) is a chromosome abnormality that only affects females and is caused by the complete or partial deletion of the X chromosome.
Girls with TS may have only a few or several of the features associated with TS, but short stature and infertility are nearly always present.
Together the friends are hoping to increase awareness of the condition by raising money in aid of The Turner Syndrome Support Society UK.
Friends of Mrs Woods and her daughter - Aggie Grand, Noelle Escayo, Meg Frosdick and Bianca Rudd – are all taking part in memory of the young woman they all described as “truly beautiful”.
Ms Grand added: “Our hearts broke for Debbie when we heard this terrible news and we wanted to do something to help in some way.
“We had previously climbed Mount Snowdon in 2019 for charity so we were looking for something similar but wanted a bigger challenge this time to encourage people to put their hands in their pockets
“We have all been training to up our fitness levels and are aiming to climb on May 14 whatever the weather.
“We would be so grateful for any sponsorship no matter how big or small to spur us on our way for this worthwhile cause. We would be so grateful.”
Miss Woods would have celebrated her 21st birthday on April 30.
Ben Nevis, in Scotland, is 1,345 metres above sea level and is Britain's highest mountain. To put it into perspective, the London Eye stands at 135m and Big Ben at 96m high. It will usually take between seven to nine hours to complete, with an approximate ascent of three-and-a-half to four hours to the summit.
Supporters can follow their progress and find out more about their challenge on the Instagram page @nursestrekforturners or the Facebook page Nurses Trek for Turners. The team is also holding a charity quiz night on Saturday, June 18 at The Willow Centre in Cringleford, near Norwich, and can be contacted via social media for more details.
To sponsor the group, visit the Much Loved website at https://emmawoods.muchloved.com/
The Turner Syndrome Support Society is a national charity caring for the needs of those with Turner Syndrome throughout the United Kingdom. It aims to offer support, advice, and information to women and girls with Turner Syndrome and their families. For more information visit https://tss.org.uk/