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10 November 2022

Day One founder Prof Peter Giannoudis heads up Athens Marathon team

by Dave Nichols

DOTS Athens Marathon George Vasilis Peter Giannoudis Marilena Michail

DAY One founder Prof Peter Giannoudis and his two children, who all work at the same hospital, are running in the world’s most famous marathon to support people with life-changing injuries.

Prof Giannoudis and his daughter Marilena and son Vasilis not only all work for the NHS, but are all based at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). Peter, 61, and Vasilis, 29, even work in the same trauma and orthopaedic department and have caried out operations together.

The trio, from Leeds, are part of a team of 11 runners taking on the Athens Marathon on Sunday (13 November) to raise money for Day One. The charity was founded by Prof Giannoudis in 2014 to provide practical, emotional and financial support to major trauma patients who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of accidents and incidents such as road crashes, falls from height, and stabbings.

Thanks to his vision, Day One now supports people all over the UK, but relies on fundraising as it doesn't receive any government or NHS funding.

"I am proud to be a surgeon and see first-hand the amazing impact Day One is having on people. Surviving major trauma is just the start for them. I passionately believe no one should be left to rebuild their life on their own. That is why I am determined to raise as much money as I possibly can for this wonderful charity by taking on one of the toughest running challenges there is."

Peter Giannoudis

Prof Giannoudis is leading a team of runners from the UK, Canada, Greece and Belgium. They include his son Vasilis Giannoudis, who has followed in his dad’s footsteps to work in trauma and orthopaedics in Leeds, and his daughter Marilena Giannoudi, 30, who is a cardiology specialist registrar.

It will be their fourth marathon together, but this time they will also be joined by George Kotsarinis, a Senior Trauma Fellow at LGI, civil engineer Michail Tziolas, 35, from Leeds, and friends and family from all over the world.

“We are all very proud of my father, for seeing the need for the charity and taking it upon himself to create it. He remains as passionate today as he did when he founded the charity. I just hope he stops suggesting marathons as fundraising ideas - I’m not sure how many more my knees have left in them."

Vasilis Giannoudis

Every year around 25,000 people are admitted to a UK Major Trauma Centre with life-changing injuries. That’s 68 people every day – one person every 20 minutes. The ripple effect of trauma is extensive and impacts on every aspect of life, with unimaginable consequences on both patients and their families.

Prof Giannoudis and his colleagues at the Leeds Major Trauma Centre are there to mend people’s broken bones after the most horrific injuries. But it is often things like accommodation, clothing or specialist equipment, legal and welfare benefits advice, counselling, and peer support that patients seek beyond the care of the NHS. And this is how Day One Trauma Support helps.

"I have met the patients who have benefitted from the work of Day One. Their stories are so inspiring. These are young, previously fit and healthy people, and one unexpected event turns their life upside down. They have no time to prepare or plan. They can have young families or even their whole life ahead of them. That is why I want to do more to support them."

Marilena Giannoudi

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