Mark Johnston

A UHDB consultant completed a 24-hour cycle challenge in honour of one of his colleagues who sadly passed away after contracting Covid-19.

The whole Trust was rocked by the passing of Mr Amged El-Hawrani, Queen’s Hospital Burton ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant, with hundreds of colleagues sharing their fond memories of him online.  

Mr Mark Johnston, a fellow ENT consultant at Royal Derby Hospital, paid tribute to Mr El-Hawrani, with Mark and his family finishing ta day-long challenge in aid of Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity.

Between them, Mark, wife Sarah, and children Bethany and Ollie, managed to cycle more than 250 miles on a static bike outside of their house, with each member of the Johnston family taking it in turns to ensure that the wheels kept on turning for the full 24-hours.

Mark said: “It was great to get my family on board, who are all none cyclists but understood just why we were doing it. Amged’s death hasn’t just been felt by the clinical teams who worked with him; it’s affected the NHS as a whole and has really brought it home that this virus has the potential to affect any of us.

 “We have lost a colleague, who was well respected and we feel deeply saddened for his family and friends. As medics we are taught to cope with bereavement, but rarely is it a colleague doing the job he loved to help others.”

The Johnstons began their mammoth cycle at 7am on Wednesday (1 April 2020) and split into pairs to make sure that nobody was ever left on the bike by themselves without any company.

Incredibly, Mark raised more than £19,000 for Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity from his challenge, with one anonymous donor pledging an amazing £10,000 for the cause.

He added: “It’s all been absolutely bonkers and I’m absolutely delighted with the amount we’ve raised already. At first, I thought that the £10,000 donation was an April Fool’s, until I realised that it had come in in the afternoon!

“Doing this challenge has also helped to take my family’s minds off any anxiety they have about me being an ENT consultant right now. I just wanted to show all of our support to Amged’s family and friends. We’ve received some lovely comments from all those who have been donating, and we will be passing all of them over to Amged’s wife.”   

Tim Diggle, Charity Operations Director, said: “ “We want to extend a huge thank you to Mark and his family for their hard work. To raise so much in memory of a clearly beloved colleague, in Mr Amged El-Hawrani, is extremely moving.”