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Ex-soldier's 4,500-mile motorcycle challenge for Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital

By Lisa O'Brien | Oswestry | Health | Published:

An ex-serviceman is taking on a 4,500-mile motorcycle challenge to fundraise for an appeal at Oswestry's Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

Rick Prichard with his motorcycle at Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland and, Right, a shot of Nordkapp

Rick Prichard, who served in the army, has decided to raise money for the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre appeal by heading beyond the Arctic Circle to take on the notorious Nordkapp Challenge after the hospital saved his wife’s life, twice.

RJAH runs the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service which is the first of its kind in the UK.

The current service delivers two outpatient clinics a month and is open to those who have served within the UK military with arthritic lower limb problems.

The Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service is led by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, serving officer in the British Army and clinical director of the veterans service.

A £1.5 million appeal was launched by RJAH back in October 2018 to fund the new Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre which will allow veterans to be treated in a bespoke environment suited to their individual needs.

Rick, who lives near Wrexham, said: “Last November, my wife Anna had a hip replacement at RJAH.

Unfortunately, due to some complications, her life was in danger and the fantastic staff did everything to help her make a full recovery.

“When visiting RJAH, I noticed posters around the hospital about the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre Appeal. I was already due to take on the Nordkapp Challenge in the summer so I decided to use the event to fundraise for the appeal.”

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Rick is aiming to raise at least £3,000 and will start the Nordkapp Challenge on June 28, when he and 12 other veterans and serving personnel will ride motorcycles up to mainland Europe’s most northerly point, Nordkapp.

Painful

The team will travel 300 plus miles a day through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway before reaching Nordkapp, which is beyond the Arctic Circle.

Rick added: “It will take us about a week to arrive at Nordkapp and will be quite a challenge and also potentially painful at times.

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“I served in the British Army for 26 years, and during my time I have undergone knee surgery as a result of the job so I know how important it is for any veteran to be properly support after they have left the services, and the planned Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre is an excellent way of achieving that.”

Helen Knight, fundraising manager, said: “We are delighted Rick has decided to fundraise for the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre Appeal.

“Our fundraisers help us to provide the best possible care for our patients – the money Rick raises for us will hugely benefit our veteran patients.

“I wish him and the team the very best of luck throughout the challenge and would like to thank him for the support.”

Donations can be made at justgiving.com/fundraising/NordkappChallenge2019

To donate to the appeal, visit rjah.nhs.uk/Fundraising/Veterans-Orthopaedic-Centre-Appeal.aspx, call 01691 404588 or email rjah.fundraising@nhs.net

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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