An Incredible Challenge - The Directory Group

An incredible challenge

A grateful mother tackled a gruelling charity challenge to raise awareness and vital funds for Cosham’s Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Rebecca Cusworth raised £1,706.11 towards the hospital’s Obstretics Unit to purchase a new ultrasound scanner, by competing in a rowing race in the Mediterranean in October last year.

Rebecca, from Wallington, was 20 weeks pregnant in 2013 when Marwan Salloum, a Consultant Obstetrician, diagnosed her with a rare condition called placenta percreta.

The condition, which affects fewer than one in 2,500 births, happens when the baby’s placenta attaches itself to scar tissue from a previous caesarean, and goes through the wall of the womb and into the bladder. If left identified, it is a life-threatening condition.

Rebecca’s daughter Jasmine, now four years old, was delivered by caesarean.

“The surgery to save us both would normally involve a traumatic operation but instead, Mr Salloum performed a less invasive procedure,” Rebecca explained. “It was only the fifth time it had been done in the UK and it meant that James and I were ready to leave hospital within only 10 days.

“We named our son James Marwan Cusworth after Mr Salloum, but I still wanted to give something back to him and the incredible team that took such great care of us during our stay at QA.”

Rebecca flew out to Sardinia to begin a 300-mile rowing race to Barcelona.

Unfortunately, the first race from Barcelona to Sardinia was devastated by a storm, which resulted in three of the crews retiring and the fourth being rescued by a helicopter. The race organisers changed the route of the second race, allowing Rebecca and her team to row from Sardinia to Menorca instead, but after a day and a half of good rowing conditions, the sea state worsened once more, eventually forcing Rebecca and her team to retire from the race.

Rebecca said: “We had covered 118 miles and endured a storm. It was an incredible challenge, which I am glad to have been a part of.”

If you would like to find out more about fundraising for a ward or department close to your heart, go to

The Directory Group covers the following areas within Hampshire and West Sussex: Petersfield, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Cowplain, Waterlooville, Denmead, Purbrook, Widley, Farlington, Cosham, Drayton, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Emsworth, Southbourne, Westbourne, Bosham, and Meon Valley