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22 September 2023

From life-saving surgeon to marathon runner: Sharon Scott takes on challenge for Day One

by Dave Nichols

DOTS Sharon Scott marathon run

A life-saving surgeon who has helped transform trauma care across Cheshire and Merseyside is taking on six marathons to raise money for Day One.

Sharon Scott has seen her fair share of catastrophic injuries during her career as a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Aintree University Hospital – home to the regional Major Trauma Centre for Cheshire and Mersey.

From stabbings and gang-related attacks to car crashes, falls from height and sporting accidents, Sharon and her team of skilled professionals work every day to save people’s lives and get them back on the road to recovery. Something that viewers witnessed during her appearance on BBC2’s documentary series, Hospital, in 2020.

Sharon, an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Aintree University Hospital, says the recent rise in attempted suicides of men struggling with their mental health spurs her on to work with partner organisations and charities that go beyond the broken bones she can fix.

That’s why she’s challenged herself to run six marathons to raise money for Day One so we can help more patients and families with practical, emotional and financial support following a catastrophic injury. Day One expanded its services from Leeds to Aintree in 2021 thanks to the foresight of Sharon and her trauma surgeon husband Simon, who works alongside her in Aintree. Now we provide bedside support in five Major Trauma Centres and nationally through our National Support Service.

Sharon, a mum-of-four from Warrington, Cheshire, said: “The work as a trauma surgeon can be relentless, but I wouldn’t want to do any other job. It can be hard at times and emotionally draining, especially when you can’t save someone’s life. It’s tough when it involves young people. I’ll often go home and give my own kids an extra big hug."

Sharon added: “Major trauma can happen suddenly and unexpectantly – people are minding their own business when an event happens that completely changes their life. What I’ve found really sad is the increase of attempted suicides of men who have struggled with their mental health, especially as we came out of the pandemic. We find a high population of young people don’t have a strong support network. They have no work, their mates abandon them and they are socially isolated with no coping mechanisms.

“For major trauma patients there is so much about real life that needs sorting that doesn’t fall under clinical care. The practicality of life that you take for granted until it’s not there. They need to focus on their recovery, but can’t as they worry about who will look after the children or how they will afford to put food on the table. This is where Day One Trauma Support makes such a difference. They provide that holistic support for patients and family members – someone to talk to who is focussed on them as a person, not a patient, which allows the NHS to do what it does best.

“I’m fortunate to see the fantastic work of Day One on a daily basis and we’re so proud to have this service available to our patients in Aintree. Unfortunately that’s not the case across the whole of the UK and many people don’t get the support they need. I'm keen to raise as much money as I can for these patients and families who provide me with no end of inspiration and courage.”

Sharon, who turned 50 last month, is running the Six Abbott Major Marathons. She’s already completed the Boston, London, New York and Tokyo marathons and will take on the Berlin Marathon on Sunday 24 September, before completing the challenge two weeks later in Chicago on 8 October.

Not bad for someone who only took up running two years ago and must fit in early morning runs with her ‘training partner’ Bruno, the pet Dobermann.

Sharon moved to Aintree in 2010 to help develop the Cheshire and Merseyside Major Trauma Centre Collaborative (MTCC), a partnership between Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. As well as the Major Trauma Centre in Aintree, the network includes trauma units that can provide specialist services for the most severely injured patients from all areas of the region.

Sharon, who was highly commended for the HSJ Clinical Leader of the Year Award in recognition of this work, added: “When you think about the injuries these people have, they would not have survived 11 or 12 years ago. But thanks to our joint working and improved pre-hospital care so much is being achieved, which is staggering. It’s my proudest achievement.”

In between the operating theatre and being a mum to her four children Mya, 21, Nathan, 19, Cyd, 13 and Serge, 11, Sharon is also a published author, having written a series of children books, the first called The Shadow of the Rowan Tree, under the pseudonym Florie Parker. She began creating the fictional characters during lockdown when she was working on the Critical Care ward. The third book in the trilogy, called The Changeling, is also dedicated to Day One Trauma Support and all the patients and families affected by trauma.

Support Sharon with her challenge

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