My two friends from university and I want to raise £500 for Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity by participating in the 10-mile Tough Mudder assault course a month today. It’ll be half a day of trawling through mud and overcoming gruelling obstacles and challenges through teamwork, endurance and resilience.

I am running for the Charity as my auntie was recently admitted to Royal Brompton after suffering from pneumonia. Her condition had degenerated significantly before admission and subsequently contracted acute respiratory distress syndrome.

All our family and friends were preparing for the worst possible outcome. She was a complex case, as her previous ailments included a supressed immune system, due to her rheumatoid arthritis, multiple operations on her back and joints due to a degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia. She was at Royal Brompton for five weeks, with three and half of those spent in intensive care, following her move from another intensive care unit at another hospital.

Thanks to the care and expertise of the nurses and doctors at Royal Brompton, my auntie began to make a slow but positive recovery from her pneumonia. Almost two months after the start of her sickness, my auntie has recovered most of her previous strength, though she still remains predominantly wheelchair bound due to her issues breathing. She has returned home to recover but still receives a significant amount of support from Royal Brompton, including regular visits, consultant meetings and phone calls.

My friends and I have been training hard for the challenge ahead and are thoroughly looking forward to the experience. I have always been close with my auntie, as we share the same wicked sense of humour and love for our family. Without the help of the Royal Brompton, we may not have a mum, daughter, auntie or friend right now. Taking on Tough Mudder for the Charity is the least I can do to say thank you and help continue the fine work the hospitals do.

- Rhys Plummer