Father taking on Guy's Urban Challenge to say thank you

Posted on Friday 5th July 2019
Richard Horley and his daughter Jessica Horley

Richard Horley with his 12-year-old daughter, Jessica.

A dad is celebrating having his daughter home for Father’s Day by taking on an ultra triathlon for Evelina London.

Jessica Horley, 12, was diagnosed with miliary tuberculosis in January. She spent five months at Evelina London's hospital receiving specialist treatment, but she was able to get home for Father's Day. To say thank you, her father will take on this year's Guy's Urban Challenge.

Jessica's rare and life-threatening bacterial infection had spread to her brain, spinal fluid, lungs, eyes, spleen, and the bone and cartilage in her left hip. She spent more than a month in isolation and needed five blood transfusions within 10 weeks.

Richard, 35, said: “As Jessica's father it's my job to keep her safe and well, but I couldn't do that without the team at Evelina London. The care she continues to receive is phenomenal.

“The beating heart of the hospital is the nursing team. It astounds me that people have the emotional capacity to genuinely care about each individual child, showing patience, warmth, generosity and love. Florence Nightingale would be proud.”

The father-of-four is raising money for Evelina London by taking on Guy’s Urban Challenge. The ultra triathlon involves a 5km run, followed by a 18km spin on a static bike, and finishes with a 29 floor stair-climb to the top of Guy's Hospital Tower. 

Richard added: “Evelina London is celebrating its 150th birthday this year so it’s the perfect time for me to give something back and say ‘thank you’ to the incredible team who helped to save Jessica’s life. After five months in hospital she is finally able to come home, just in time for Father’s Day, which is the greatest gift I could receive.”

Dr Marc Tebruegge, consultant in paediatric infectious diseases and immunology at Evelina London, said: “Miliary tuberculosis is very rare and can be difficult to diagnose. Jessica requires ongoing treatment but it’s fantastic to see how well she is doing and that she’s been able to go home in time for Father’s Day.

“Evelina London has changed the lives of children and young people for 150 years. Fundraisers like Richard make significant contributions, helping us to provide expert care for children with complex conditions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Guy’s Urban Challenge will take place on Saturday 28 September. The annual event raises vital funds for Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity raises money for big things and small touches that make our life-saving care even better and help our patients and their families feel really looked after. 

Help Richard reach his fundraising target.

Celebrating 150 years of caring for children

Evelina London is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The hospital was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.