Beacon of hope! Ruth’s inspiring recovery

Former eating disorder patient in marathon effort for our charity, Head To Toe

Beacon of hope! Ruth’s inspiring recovery
26 November 2018

At the height of her battle with anorexia, Ruth Beacon was so deeply unwell that she feared she would have to drop out of university and her future was far from certain.

But she was nursed back to health by staff from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Now, in a tribute to the team who cared for her, Ruth has returned to thank them and presented the Trust’s charity Head To Toe with a cheque for £579.35.

The 26 year-old raised the money by completing a half-marathon – and to cap an extraordinary recovery she is also about to complete a second degree ahead of embarking in a career in healthcare.

Ruth  - pictured left to right with Jane Poppitt and Jane Waterston from CPFT’s Eating Disorder Service and her parents, Sarah and Tim - said: “I can’t thank the staff at CPFT enough. When I was first admitted I was really poorly, but they helped me so much and I am delighted to have raised the money. It really was the least I could do for everything they did for me.”

Ruth was admitted to CPFT’s adult eating disorder ward, S3 – which is based within Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge – in 2014. At the time she was at university in Oxford but her eating disorder meant she was struggling to complete her degree in education studies.

She said: “I ended up spending seven months at S3 and that included my 22st birthday. It was a really difficult time and some of it I can’t even remember. Anorexia had really taken control of me. But through the patience of the staff and the treatment and therapy I received, I was eventually well enough to leave.”

Ruth, from Bedford, rebuilt her life away from the ward and did finally return to university to complete her degree. As part of her recovery she took up running and joined her local athletics club. In October, she took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, which begins and ends in Hyde Park in London, and ran in aid of the CPFT’s Head To Toe Charity.

The money she raised from the 13-mile race is to be given by Head To Toe to the staff at S3 so they can improve facilities for patients on the 14-bed inpatient unit.

Ruth said: “The staff were just incredible and it was a pleasure to raise money for the ward. As well as running, they inspired me to return to university, this time in Northampton, to do a second degree this time in occupational therapy.

“I’m not cured of my anorexia but I’m now in control of it. It no longer controls me and I’ve filled my life with many other things.

“I worked with some really inspiring OTs during my time at S3. I certainly believe my experience – and the links between mental and physical health – will help me in my future career.”

Dr Jaco Serfontein, Consultant Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders at the S3 ward, said: “Everyone at S3 is delighted to hear about Ruth’s progress. Working within eating disorders is very challenging, but the whole team is dedicated to helping people on the road to recovery.

“I have no doubt that Ruth being able to share her story will give tremendous hope to others. We are incredibly grateful for the money she has raised, and we will look to use it to continue to improve facilities at the ward for our patients and our staff.”

Tom Petie, community fundraising officer for Head To Toe, which raises money for CPFT and works with former patients and their families who make donations to the Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have been approached by Ruth so she can make this donation to S3 via Head To Toe. Her story is a truly inspiring one, and we can assure her the money she has raised will be put to very good use.”

CPFT provides mental health services for children and adults and community physical health services for older people and those with long-term conditions. The find out more about the work of Head To Toe and to make a donation visit www.headtotoecharity.org


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Media Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 219467

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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