A great great-grandmother who has virtually lost the use of her legs has completed 100 “stand-ups” for charity before her 100th birthday.
Unshakeable Joyce Richardson, 100, suddenly lost the ability to walk and stand after she contracted sepsis last and has been slowly regaining her strength.
She now relies on a hoist to help her into chairs but she challenged herself to completing 100 stand-ups before she turned 100 on June 2.
She stood for ten seconds each time, and reached 1,000 seconds by her birthday.
She battled through pain in her legs as well as rheumatism in her shoulders to achieve her goal but says she is chuffed to bits to have completed it.
Her pledge has raised more than £20,000 for the Herriot Hospice charity which is close to the family’s heart as it provided care for Joyce’s son John before he tragically passed away last year.
Joyce says she was “surprised” by the amount of people who donated to her cause but is grateful for everyone who chipped in.
But after a gruelling month she says she is taking a break from standing for at least a week.
Joyce, from Thirsk, North Yorks., said: “I can’t remember much about being in the hospital, I sometimes meet nurses who recognise me and I just tell them I have no idea who they are.
“It was very painful – that’s what I remember.
“Now it hurts to stand up and I didn’t for months because of the pain.
“I saw what Captain Tom Moore was doing and I thought what could I do to help? Nothing but pull myself up.”
Determined Joyce stood up three times a day for the entirety of May except for two days where it was too painful for her to stand.
She added: “Pulling myself up was so difficult, but I felt accomplished by the end of it.
“It’s wonderful to see all of the support we have received for the hospice.”
Joyce had initially intended to raise £1,000 for the hospice but the number has since skyrocketed to over £20,000.
The mum-of-three said: “I’m very pleased and grateful for those who have given a little something and I only wish I could write them all a letter to thank them.
“I don’t like lying down. It’s hard to get used to. I want to be up and about and making everyone tea.”
Joyce has always been a determined woman according to her daughter Gil.
During the war Joyce joined the Women’s Land Army and after she was widowed in 1966, she brought up her three children on her own.
Gil said watching her mum, then 99, be admitted to hospital after unexpectedly contracting sepsis was “dreadful”.
Pub director Gil, 63, said: “It was dreadful, she was in so much pain.
“She was in hospital for so long and she’s never been dependent on others, so that was difficult.
“The challenge was great because it gave her a goal and has got her talking to people.
“In spirit I think she’s back to how she used to be.
“My mum has spent her life caring for others, she’d always make people cups of tea and was such a compassionate person.
“I think it’s been particularly difficult for her as she now can’t take care of others and needs to be cared for.
“With this challenge she’s been able to give back and that’s what she loves to do.”
Captain Tom Moore, who inspired Joyce’s challenge, tweeted at the centenarian on the day of her birthday congratulating her for her achievement.
He said: “Welcome to the club Joyce, 100 years young today! And congratulations on your challenge for a great cause. Stay safe.”
Chief Executive of Herriot Hospice Homecare Tony Collins said: “We’ve all been inspired by Joyce’s huge challenge of completing 100 stand ups for her milestone birthday, and would like to say a massive thank you for her fantastic support.
“The money Joyce is raising will help us to continue providing home-based end-of-life care and bereavement support to our communities across Hambleton and Richmondshire.”
You can donate to her cause here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joycerichardson100th