A former leader on Richmond Council has raised £12,000 for Kingston NHS Hospital after its staff helped him survive and recover from coronavirus.

Serge Lourie was formerly a non-executive director on Richmond Council and fundraised by walking 2.6 miles around Kew, as part of London Marathon's 2.6 Challenge recently.

On March 22, Serge was admitted to Kingston Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 coronavirus and would go on to spend three days in intensive care there before recovering.

"I was in hospital with COVID-19 for 10 days of which three were in Intensive Care.

"I just cannot say strongly enough how grateful I am to all the staff at Kingston Hospital and the paramedics who took me there by ambulance.

"I believe they saved my life. They were all completely wonderful and deserve all the praise they have been getting," he said on completing his incredible fundraising efforts.

The money will go to the Kingston Hospital Charity.

Despite only recently beating the virus, Serge decided to throw himself into the fundraising efforts and said he was happy he managed to complete the 2.6 Challenge:

"In order to give something back, I decided to take part in the 2.6 challenge and planned to walk 2.6 kilometres to raise money for Kingston Hospital Charity.

"As I was feeling quite strong on the day, I am happy to report that I managed to walk 2.6 miles," he said.

His determination and success were welcomed gladly by staff at Kingston Hospital who now hope to see the benefits of the money raised put to good use.

Interim Head of Kingston Hospital Charity, Rob Aldous said:

"It was typical Serge that once he was back home and beginning to feel better, he wasted no time in thinking about how he could show his gratitude to the hospital staff who looked after him.

"We are delighted Serge has recovered from coronavirus and very grateful to him and all who generously supported his 2.6 Challenge, helping to raise over £12,000 – a fantastic effort!"