A DOCTOR from Barnsley Hospital’s intensive care unit has completed a year-long fundraising challenge - running the equivalent length of America’s famous Route 66.

Dr Sughrat Siddiqui, consultant in the ICU and anaesthetics departments, has worked round the clock during the coronavirus pandemic but vowed to raise cash to fund a bespoke wheelchair to help the town’s recovering patients get back outdoors.

On Tuesday the doctor, who has clocked up ten years’ service, finished the challenge to run 2,278 miles and smashed his £5,000 target.

He said: “I ran the equivalent length of Route 66 by completing trails round the Peak District whenever I could find time outside my work schedule.

“We can and do take patients outside using a combination of equipment which is laborious, inefficient and excludes certain patients for safety reasons.

“We want to broaden the number of patients we can offer this service to by building a bespoke chair that allows us to do this more often and with more complex patients.”

Dr Siddiqui said his challenge was inspired by one of his patients, 61-year-old Jean, of Darfield, who was in intensive care for 90 days and almost lost her life to pneumonia.

“As Jean slowly recovered and got to the point where it looked like she might actually make it, we decided to take her outside for some daylight and a change of scenery,” he added.

“You can imagine the effect on someone of being in the same room for 90 days - we went outside, taking all the precautions needed, and she immediately burst into tears as she was overwhelmed by happiness.”