“At last, I fulfilled my dream by abseiling from the 17th floor of the Royal London Hospital”
In chatting to my client Gulshan Billimoria at our last review I found out she’s done a couple of rather exceptional charity events in the last few years. The first of these was in December 2021, where she climbed the O2 Arena together with 22 other amputees, plus her daughter and grand-daughter, to raise monies for the Limbless Association.
In some ways I wasn’t surprised to learn this – Gulshan is a very capable and competent person, with a great heart – the road traffic accident she had in 2020 changed her life but not her as a person, and she appreciates how having Christies carers has helped enable her to continue to live her life to the full, even while in her 80’s.
I will give you Gulshan’s account of her latest adventure in her own words –
At last, I fulfilled my dream by abseiling from the 17th floor of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London to raise monies for the London Air Ambulance charity on the 10th of June 2023. I was also able to persuade my Case Manager, one of the junior Lawyers and my Physiotherapist to abseil with me.
It was a very exciting, exhilarating and a fearless experience! (Not meaning to be pompous, but I really felt no fear). It was my dream to reciprocate to the London Air Ambulance in some small way, for saving my life in 2020. The support of my family and friends, and my faith helped me to fulfil my dream and commitment to the London Air Ambulance to continue saving more lives.
The weather was very kind and favourable to all the abseilers!
As the platform for descending was just under the helipad, we had to walk through the corridor where the medics/staff were rushing around to fly to an emergency call. I had an uneasy feeling, hoping for the best.
When my turn came to descend, I climbed the few steps to the launching pad, which was just a plank of wood jutting outwards from the roof edge. I sat on the 1st step, removed my prosthesis, and then shuffled on my backside to turn around to get to the edge of the platform in a very confined space, dangle my leg over the edge and face the unknown. I was attached by harness to a member of the abseiling staff. This was because when the wind blows, two legs are required to walk sideways in the direction of the wind.
It was a bit embarrassing descending – I was greeted by loud screams, whistles and the clapping of my family and on-lookers! I was proud though to have personally raised £6834 for the London Air Ambulance.
Gulshan has no immediate plans for any further adventures for now, she told me, her aim is to focus on getting rid of the two sticks she walks with – she is looking forward to the day she can walk without the sticks and without pain. After such a major achievement that will change other people’s lives for the better I think she deserves to rest up a little!
Hannah Kent, Christies Care – Local Area Manager and Gulshan Billimoria – Christies Care client