I don’t know about ‘Miracle Bikes’ but that was the term used by a lady who called our enquiry line recently. Her husband had been taken into hospital with a suspected infection. The next morning he was starting his treatment. The sample that confirmed the diagnosis was carried by one of our bikes. The miracles we leave to our marvelous NHS workers who deserve to be regarded as saints. All we do is just ask ‘May I carry that for you?’
But this does help. The NHS has it’s own courier service and we don’t replace that, we complement it. For example it can sometimes be difficult for the NHS to transport from one health board to another but the 100% volunteer Blood Bikes network across the UK is ideal for doing this, quickly, and for free.
In conjunction with our fellow volunteers at SERV Sussex we arranged a relay of an urgent paediatric sample from St Woolos, Newport to the University of Sussex in Brighton. With our colleagues in the north of England there was a relay of a sample from the Royal Preston Hospital with yours truly completing the last leg on a beautiful November night from Newtown reaching Llandough Hospital, Cardiff in the early hours of the morning. If you thought the A470 past the Storey Arms was spectacular in the day time you should see it at night when you’re the only vehicle on the road.
But much of our transport of samples is local, from one hospital to the nearest pathology lab. The importance of this highlighted by the experience of one of our riders. He got to the A&E department just as an ambulance arrived. The patient was soon surrounded by NHS staff working hurriedly on the patient and an arm holding a vial appeared from the scrum ‘Get that to a biker!’ was the urgent instruction.
That is when you know you are doing something worthwhile.