Aston: Teenager’s charity walk to thank hospital for saving his life

James, June and Trevor Gude with dog Duke
James, June and Trevor Gude with dog Duke

A former patient of the Children’s Hospital from Aston has signed up to a charity walk to thank the doctors and nurses who treated him.

James Gude, 17, and his parents will lace up their boots on Sunday and take part in the Children’s Hospital Charity’s Three Dams Walk.

They will walk 15 miles in support of the hospital which treated James when he was infected with life-threatening bacteria E.Coli when he was just four-years-old.

James said: “When I was young I started showing strange symptoms and my mum and dad got really worried about me.”

“The only thing I could eat without being sick was Pom Bear crisps and yogurt so I went for tests and the doctors found that the E.Coli bacteria had attacked my stomach and caused acids to build up.”

“Because I was so young, I was really at risk and the doctors had to treat me quickly.”

James underwent a seven hour surgery to wrap his stomach around the tube which passes food to it from the mouth. This stopped the acids from travelling back up into his throat.

Following the operation James recovered on the hospital’s surgical ward for five days.

James, said: “It was a pretty serious procedure and I was on morphine which is a really strong painkiller for days after.”

“Although it was a long time ago, I can still remember the doctors and nurses because they were so nice to me. I can remember playing on a Dreamcast games console from my bed and they had play staff to help keep me entertained and keep my mind off feeling unwell.”

Although James will be on medication for the rest of his life, he is now happy and healthy and is looking for an apprenticeship.

“I was only discharged from the hospital a few weeks ago because I had regular check-ups so the hospital has been quite a big part of my life,” he added.

“My family heard about the walking event and as we do a lot of walking with our dog Duke we thought it would be a brilliant way to give something back.”

The event which leads fundraisers through Derwent Valley on a five, 10 or 15 mile walk around the dams of Ladybower, Derwent and Howden, attracted more than 300 walkers last year raised more than £15,000. This year it aims to raise £25,000 to fund a patient bedroom in a new hospital ward at the hospital in Sheffield.

For information or to register for The Three Dams Walk visit dams-walk, or contact the charity office on 0114 271 7203 or email