STAFF at a Hartlepool taxi firm are leaving their cars at home after their boss was struck by a rare condition that left him temporarily paralysed.
Five workers from Streamline Taxis are to walk from Asda in Peterlee to the firm’s office Hartlepool this week dressed in their pyjamas.
They are doing it to raise money for Ward 24 at James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough that nursed Streamline’s managing director Ray Tweddle back to health.
Ray spent six months in hospital after he was struck down by Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The rare condition, which affects just 1,200 people a year in the UK, sees the body’s immune system attack part of the nervous system.
Nichola Goddard, Streamline’s company secretary, said: “Ray went into hospital in mid-January and only came out last Monday.
“He was paralysed temporarily, but he’s now on the road to recovery.
“We are really looking forward to the walk and just wanted to give something back to the ward that’s helped Ray so much.”
The kind-hearted walkers include Nichola and controllers Leanne Gaffney, Emma Robinson, Mandy Wilson and Victoria Wearmouth.
They hit upon the idea of walking the distance in pyjamas in a nod to the time Ray spent bed-ridden in hospital.
It is hoped Ray will join the girls for the last few hundred yards of the walk despite being confined largely to a wheelchair.
Other workers back at the office in Tower Street will also come into work in pyjamas on the day of the walk on Wednesday.
The girls will walk from Asda in Peterlee to the office and will pass through Horden and Blackhall.
Nichola added: “We hope the weather is going to be nice and that we get a lot of support from people who see us walking about.
“Anyone who wants to sponsor us can phone the office or just pop in.”
The symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome usually develop shortly after the victim has had a minor infection, such as a cold, sore throat or stomach bug.
Symptoms of tingling and numbness often start in the feet and hands before spreading to their arms and legs.
Muscles become weak and the patient may not be able to walk.
People can back the cause by calling (01429) 222222.