A teenager is fundraising for the hospitals who saved his limbs after two major accidents left him with life-changing injuries.
Jonnas Guerra, 19, will be doing a sponsored walk to try and raise at least £5000 to be will split between The Chelsea and Westminster burns unit, St. Mary’s Hospital plastics department and St. Thomas’ Hospital plastics department.
Jonnas, from south west London, was a victim of knife crime in the early hours of New Year’s Day as he was stabbed in his back and his arm.
His injuries weren’t life-threatening but were life-changing, and then in June he required multiple surgeries to save his leg after a freak accident, before undergoing major reconstructive surgery to make it functional.
Jonnas spent spent nearly two months in hospital, undergoing eight surgeries in total, one of which was 12 hours long, and was recently cleared to begin physiotherapy for his leg.
He said: “Whilst I was in hospital, I noticed how much the nurses have to work, I wanted to give back to all the doctors, nurses and porters that worked to help me.
“I am super grateful for them. I got told I could lose my leg and luckily they saved it.”
As well as fundraising to help hospitals, the challenge will also benefit his physiotherapy.
Jonnas is now re-learning to walk, and will be aiming to walk a mile a day for 20 days and to improve his speed, posture and technique, with the aim to walk without his crutches as much as he can.
He said, “Before my injury I was quite into sports. I swam competitively and played rugby a lot.
“I didn’t just want to sit around, I wanted to get back on my feet as it was good for my mental health.
“There were times where I could barely move my arm, the injuries were painful and looking back on the sports I used to do and how easy it was before, it was quite upsetting.”
On the 21st day of his challenge, Jonnas is aiming to walk 20km in one day to see how far he has come.
He has already raised £2,490, almost half of his target, and is overwhelmed by the support he has received.
He said, “I was hesitant to set a goal of £5000, I thought there was no way I would make it.
“When I received £1000 in the first day, it really shocked me.
“I’ve had a crazy amount of support, people I haven’t even heard of have reached out and messaged me.
“Whenever I check the comments on my post or the donations, I have received it blows my mind.”
Jonnas will be posting daily updates of his progress to his Instagram and Facebook and hopes to raise as much money as possible for the hospitals who helped him.
Donate to Jonnas’ fund here.