After weeks on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma, Greenmount resident Andrea Dart, shares her amazing story and road to recovery from the coronavirus.
We find out about her role as ‘Roc Doc’ for the Totty Snake, and her recent support of the Totty Lines Runners raising funds for a Defibrillator. A dedicated retired Science teacher, Andrea spent her time pre Covid-19 painting comfort pebbles for hospice patients whose families put words on love on the underside for patients to hold and cherish. “When the Totty Snake began, I was very ill and on a ventilator in Salford hospital with COVID 19. My sister exercised her dog down Totty Lines and added some of my painted pebbles to the ever-growing snake, sending me a video to watch as I got better. Her encouragement and getting involved in the project helped me to fight the virus and recover.” Recovery has been slow, from having to learn to swallow, speak and walk, Andrea initially rehabilitated at home by getting back to her Rock painting, however this time it was as her new role ‘The Roc Doc’! “I loved volunteering my time repainting the rocks that had become damaged and weather-worn. Some of the paintings were quite faded and I’ve tried to replace all the details. It was important to me that these stones are repaired exactly the same because each rock tells a story and a memory. I love that I can provide a service to create a lasting memorial where community spirit came together during such a scary time.” Angie Sutcliffe praised Andrea’s dedication to the Totty Snake project. Angie and her hard-working team of volunteers carried on the initial idea created by Marco Withy, who put a couple of stones down that his children had painted during the lockdown. When the stones were moved, he put up a sign saying, ‘Add, don’t take’, and that’s just what people did. People started leaving stones painted in memory of lost loved ones, celebrating births, birthdays and anniversaries, uplifting-quotes, VE day and NHS thank-you’s appeared. Moorfield care home residents spent their time during lockdown adding their words of wisdom to stones. The movement has even inspired poems, videos, songs and t-shirts to be created in support.
After gaining funding backed by Cllr Yvonne Wright, the Totty Snake has now been set in concrete to make the stones a permanent display. It was also the recent setting for the Totty Lines Runners 24 hour challenge, raising funds for a defibrillator to be placed near the lines. With Andrea Dart walking, her sister Claire trotting and Angie ‘doing some dramatic running’, the trio joined the challenge in full fancy dress, a feat in itself and raised over £1,400 themselves, adding to the total pot being raised by the runners.