Three surgeons at the James Paget will be taking part in the London to Brighton Cycle Ride later this month to raise funds for the hospital charity. And, as one of the surgeons explains, there’s a very personal reason why he’s getting on his bike
Consultant surgeon Vamsi Velchuru can thank his Haemotologist at James Paget University Hospitals for being able to tell his story six years on. Mr Velchuru was diagnosed with lymphoma and has been on a difficult journey since then. But now he, fellow Consultant Surgeon Christopher Liao and Urologist Lokesh Suraparaju, are training for the 55-mile London to Brighton Cycle Ride that will be held on Sunday September 19.
Mr Velchuru says: ‘As surgeons, we care about patient outcome stemming from our own personal experiences. Personally, for me, following the diagnosis of lymphoma, the amazing JPUH staff supported me in my difficult journey from diagnosis to treatment at the Paget. My Haematologist treated me with innovative and latest world-class chemotherapy regimens, and I am here to tell the story after 6 years. Thanks to Paget, I have kept my spirits high and my fidelity skills to treat my own patients with the same passionate care that I was shown by the staff of the Paget.’
General Surgeon Christopher Liao has a special connection with James Paget as he trained here as a junior doctor.
He says: ‘During my formative years as a junior doctor and a budding surgeon, I had the friendliest and caring training environment here at the Paget. Having worked in different hospitals up-and-down the country, I realised I missed the community spirit and gracious acceptance of our local population here at the Paget, therefore when the opportunity arrived to consolidate my practice as a Consultant, it only felt natural to return to my roots having worked in such a friendly environment before. Therefore, raising funds for JPUH charity is my way of showing my appreciation to our hard-working staff at the James Paget, as well as an opportunity to raise funds for our local population, our patients and their families who rely on our Hospital.’
Last but not least, is Urology Surgeon Lokesh Suraparaju, who joined the Paget in 2004, as a clinical fellow.
He says: ‘JPUH is a special place to me as it is here I embarked upon my Urological career, as a younger medical professional. I am very grateful to have trained here with a friendly team who nurtured my skills as a surgeon. In the last 17 years, it has been my pleasure to be involved in the care of a friendly and vibrant community. I am amazed by the diligence of my colleagues and co-workers in caring for our patients, especially during this pandemic over the past year.’
The event allows cyclists to complete the route in their own time, and to raise money for a charity that individuals choose for themselves – and all three surgeons will be riding to raise funds for the James Paget Hospital Charity.
The ride is along a fully signposted route with refreshment stops and mechanical support available and our team will join thousands of other cyclists aiming to complete the route, which includes the road hill climb at Ditchling Beacon on the way into Brighton.
You can find out more about the ride at https://www.londonbrightoncycle.co.uk/. If you’d like to support the surgeons, and read more about their stories, please visit their fundraising page on the charity website; https://www.jpaget-charity.org.uk/Fundraisers/jpuh-london-to-brighton-cycle-ride-2021-
Featured image, pictured left to right, are Christopher Liao, Vamsi Velchuru and Lokesh Suraparaju.