Fundraising Consultant To Tackle Snowdon – Three Months After Surviving Covid-19

A Consultant Anaesthetist from the Royal Stoke University Hospital is taking on Wales’ highest point just three months after surviving COVID-19.

Dr Murali Vallabhaneni, Consultant Anaesthetist from the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) found himself needing the care of colleagues after becoming ill with the virus at the beginning of May.

After spending two weeks in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Royal Stoke, Dr Vallabhaneni will be scaling Mount Snowdon on Saturday 15 August to raise funds for UHNM Charity and thank the staff who saved his life.  

Dr Vallabhaneni said: “At the beginning of May I started to feel unwell with severe head and body aches, so went into self-isolation. Around a week later my condition deteriorated, and I started to develop severe shortness of breath, so called for an ambulance.

“I was considered to be very poorly, so was admitted to the CCU at Royal Stoke, where I was given hi-flow oxygen. Unfortunately my oxygen levels became dangerously low, so it was decided to put me on a ventilator.”    

Dr Vallabhaneni, who provides anaesthetic services to Critical Care, Oncology and Vascular patients, spent five days on the ventilator before being considered well enough to be weaned off it.

He said: “My condition had deteriorated significantly, enough so to give my colleagues a very anxious three days. When I woke up I was very weak and unable to perform even simple tasks, so was totally reliant on the care of the Critical Care staff. I stayed on CCU for a further four days before finally being discharged from hospital after three weeks.”

Speaking about his recovery, Dr Vallabhaneni said: “During the same period my wife also tested positive for COVID-19 and started to self-isolate, so it was very challenging for my two children who had to look after themselves more. When I got home I was very short of breath, even walking short distances left me breathless. I’d lost 10kg and had severe muscle wasting.

“My Critical Care colleagues said it would take up to four months to get back to normal and return to work, but I was determined to work hard and make an early recovery. The support I received over the next few weeks from my wife, children, friends and colleagues was immense and invaluable, and I made significant improvements. 

Dr Vallabhaneni is planning to make the 3,559 foot trek to the summit of Snowdon with his 13-year-old son Rohan and colleagues from UHNM.

Dr Vallabhaneni added: “Throughout my Critical Care stay, the staff on the Unit were incredible. Despite working in difficult conditions wearing full PPE, they continued to perform their duties and provided the highest quality of care to all patients, including myself. I decided to attempt my Snowdon climb as wanted to challenge myself and raise as much money as possible to improve the working environment and patient experience on the Unit that did so much for me.”  

Donations to Dr Vallabhaneni’s appeal can be made online here.


If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit www.uhnmcharity.org.uk for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.