Para-swimmer Tully Kierney visits ROH Fundraiser

This December Para-swimmer, Tully Kierney drove all the way from  Manchester to surprise one of our renowned fundraisers, Autumn.

Autumn, who is a scoliosis patient at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, raised over £700 earlier this year by forfeiting her birthday presents for donations to the hospital. We used the funds she raised to renovate one of our young adult rooms on our spinal ward.

We wanted to do something special to thank her for her support. When we asked Tully if she would be interested in surprising Autumn when she visited the room, she instantly said ‘yes’ and couldn’t wait to meet her.

Tully has been a patient at the ROH since 2010 and has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis. Despite having cerebal palsy, dystonia and now scoliosis, she has become a world champion para-swimmer. Tully is an advocate for ROH and an avid follower of the Trust on Twitter, so knew all about Autumn and her fantastic her fundraising story.

Autumn, her mum Anna and younger sister Violet, visited the hospital and were shown photos of the room autumn funded and got to hear some of the amazing feedback families had given in regards to the renovations.

Tully brought along her medals for us all to look at, and Autumn was  mesmerised by the weight of them. There was a lot of inspiration in the room. You could see that Autumn and her family were all in awe of Tully and all that she has achieved, but also Tully was undoubtingly inspired by Autumn and her generous nature at such a young age.

Tully and Autumn had a lot in common, and talked about some of the lovely staff in the orthotics department who have helped them over the years. They joked about the patterns available for braces, and that they would change every time they would visit, which made it even harder to choose.

You’ll probably notice Autumn is holding a Giraffe in her photos. This was a gift given by the executive directors at the ROH for her fundraising efforts. The giraffe has a body brace, just like the one that Autumn used to wear, and also the same pattern that Tully uses on her foot braces.

Tully wanted to do something to show Autumn how much she cared. She made Autumn her very own Christmas decoration to take home, which was a really lovely gesture. They all had a fantastic time, and everyone left feeling in high spirits and motivated to do more.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tully for taking the time to visit us and Autumn. It was a lovely surprise and one that we’re sure they will remember for years to come. 

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