Fundraising activities from multi award-winning appliance specialist Caple and the friends and family of Billie Elizabeth have helped raise more than £220K for the charity, Billie Elizabeth Wood Trust (BEWT). This was set up by family members in honour of the memory of Billie, Caple’s service director Richard Wood’s daughter.
Billie was the niece of Caple’s managing director Danny Lay and finance director Graham Perry, and the granddaughter of chairman Maurice Lay. The family fondly describe her as a down-to-earth, positive caring person who suddenly became very ill and was rushed to Southmead Hospital where she spent six days in intensive care with a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Billie then suffered a ‘vasospasm’ which can occur within two weeks following an SAH. However, this caused a fatal stroke.
The money raised will now help Southmead Hospital Charity, the official charity of North Bristol NHS Trust, to fund two new positions to support research – a vasospasm research nurse and a research facilitator. This funding allocation follows agreement on a proposal for a dedicated vasospasm research team, submitted by Crispin Wigfield, one of the hospital’s consultant neurosurgeons.
Our managing director, Danny Lay adds: “Following the heart-breaking news of Billie’s untimely death, with the help of her family, Caple and her friends we have all managed to make a difference by raising more than £220K for the charity, BEWT. I think Billie would be extremely proud of our efforts and she would fully support our aim to help others in a similar situation.”
Sally Bennett, Head of Fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “The two specialist research roles at North Bristol NHS Trust will widen knowledge and evaluate current treatments for vasospasm in the hopes of increasing survival rates for this life-threatening condition.
“Billie’s family and friends, and everyone at Caple, have done incredibly well to raise such an amazing amount of money in memory of Billie. It’s a wonderful way to honour her life.”
Fundraising activities continue and the Thames Rowing Challenge is BEWT’s latest event this week. Billie’s family and friends are rowing 85 miles along the Thames in four vintage skiffs from Clifton Hampden (Clifton Lock) to Walton Bridge (Shepperton Lock). You can support the Thames Rowing Challenge team if you make a donation here.