We are very sad to share with you that one of the Trust's
biggest supporters, Bill Cooksey, has died at the age of 102.
In September this year, Bill completed the Great North Run
in5hrs and 41 mins, breaking the record for the oldest person to
complete the event.
Pat Chambers, our charity development manager, said: "This is
very sad news indeed. Bill began supporting CDDFT through our
charity after receiving what at the time was believed to be
palliative care from us.
"Bill was a great friend and supporter - raising funds to help
enhance patient care and experience. He talked about having
been born in poverty in Wales, with healthcare beyond his family's
reach and throughout his life never took the NHS for granted and it
was this appreciation that initially brought him to us in 2021.
"It was typical of Bill to want to give something back but when
he suggested that, at the age of 100 as he was then, he would
commit to walking 100 miles to raise funds for us - I was more than
a little concerned to say the least! But he did it - an
"Not content with that, the following year, 2022, Bill
challenged himself to cycle 1,000 miles, aged 101 - which he also
achieved. It's an understatement to say we have been in awe
of these physical challenges Bill has taken on which most people of
any age wouldn't attempt and which he started not long after he had
been very seriously ill himself.
"In September this year Bill completed what was probably his
toughest challenge, completing the Great North Run in 5 hrs and 41
mins - the oldest person ever to do so. The conditions
were terrible but the torrential rain did not deter Bill. He was so
very proud to say he walked the whole way - no sitting down. Our
chief executive, Sue Jacques and family friend Gavin Iceton, were
by his side throughout.
"Bill was a wonderful man and became a great friend. He was
dedicated to others and to service throughout his long life having
had a distinguished career both in the RAF and later as a teacher.
He will be fondly remembered by everyone lucky enough to know him.
We will miss him enormously."
'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we
have this service at all and well done to you all.'
Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley
Bridge Community Hospital