easysite
You are here > Our Charity > News stories > Sept - Dec 2018
.
Fundraising for Our Charity
Donate button

Sept - Dec 2018

Terry Haywood
Terry Haywood

Man of Steel Terry Rows Marathon for Maternity Unit

Personal trainer Terry Haywood, 56, broke into the world age-group top ten with a marathon row to raise money for the WJC Birth Centre in Braintree.

Fitness fanatic Terry rode a Concept 2 rowing machine at Dunmow Leisure Centre for an incredible 3hrs 8mins, covering 42,195 metres (26.2 miles). He also sailed past his fundraising target of £2000 and hopes to have raised over £3000 by the time all donations are in.

Terry first rowed a marathon five years ago with no preparation: “It was the hardest thing I’d ever done, and I said, ‘I’m never doing that again.’ I had a blister the size of a 50 pence piece on my right buttock and I’ve still got the scar.”

But after encouragement from his wife Lindsay – a midwife at WJC – and the promise of £500 sponsorship from a client, he decided to take up the challenge.

“I’d toyed with the idea and then remembered how horrible it was. But my wife said, ‘How about if you did it for a good cause?’ And I couldn’t think of a better cause than raising money for the birthing unit.”

With experienced marathon runner Lindsay directing his training, Terry covered over 500,000 metres in the build up to the big day.

“The game plan was to keep pace between 2:05 and 2:06 per 500m but I felt so strong at the beginning I went off too fast. The plan was to pick it up in the last ten thousand, but when it came to it, I didn’t have that pick-up in me. That last ten thousand was horrible. I focussed on the monitor and was pretty much oblivious to what was going on around me.

“I didn’t quite get the time I wanted – I wanted to get under three hours. But that puts me eighth in the world for my age so I’m not too disappointed.”

Terry was powered by water, jelly babies and sliced Mars bars and burned over 2500 calories – the recommended daily intake for an adult.

So what’s next for Terry?

“I’m going to have another go at the rowing marathon and try to get it under three hours. I’ll do that in March-April time. And I’d like to see how many burpees I could do in an hour. I did a burpee mile on an athletics track and did between 900 and 1000 burpees in that time.”

And is Terry the fittest 56-year-old in the country?

“There’s always someone fitter but I like to think I’m reasonably fit. I work at it pretty much every day and I have done since I was twelve years old.”



Tesla donation

Wizard Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day After Car Donation

Wizard ward experienced some Christmas magic when they received a donation of a mini electric car from the Tesla Owners’ Group.

The red battery-powered Tesla was brought in by electric car owners Peter and Anne Smoothy. Its arrival caused quite a stir on Wizard - a ten-bed ward for children having routine day-case surgery - as it features working headlights, a horn and gearbox, giving young patients an authentic driving experience, albeit at a greatly reduced speed.

A referral scheme which saw existing Tesla owners rewarded with a mini electric Tesla prompted the owners’ group to explore the idea of donating their prizes to charity. But the idea really took off when Elon Musk, CEO of the California-based company, got involved.

Peter Smoothy explained: “The idea was born to give the cars away to hospitals and other good causes as not all owners had children or grandchildren they could give them to, but it progressed and we decided to start fundraising. Then Elon Musk himself gave us a big fat donation and we were able to buy more cars with a manufacturer’s discount. We’ve now donated 117 to hospitals and children’s hospices throughout the country. 

“The car could be used for anything from the child driving themselves down for treatment to having fun on the ward. The car’s fairly robust, so we just hope everyone will have a really nice time using it.”

Victoria Bird, senior sister on Wizard ward, said: “The car has been on the top of my wish list for I don’t know how long. I’ve been running children’s day stay for fourteen years and to me this is the icing on the cake. It’ll make such a difference to children who have hyper anxieties or have had previous bad experiences in surgery. Going off to theatre in a car, I mean, who doesn’t want to do that? It’s incredible.”

Dengie south essex bikers

Motorcycling Santas Bring Christmas Cheer to Children’s Wards

Motorcyclist Steve Maples led a team of over fifty bikers in Christmas fancy dress on a toy run through Essex in aid of Broomfield Hospital and Little Havens Hospice.

The Dengie and South Essex Bikers - dressed as Father Christmas, elves and reindeer - set off from Maldon and delivered sacks of books, games and DVDs to the hospital and hospice.

After handing out gifts at MEHT’s Phoenix ward whilst singing Christmas carols, the riders then showed off their powerful bikes to several excited young patients and allowed them to jump on board.

For Steve and his partner Leanne Smith, the trip was especially poignant as the couple recently lost their daughter Paige Elisha, who was born at 35 weeks.

The couple have been fundraising in Paige’s memory and are on target to raise over £2000 for the Broomfield maternity unit.

Steve explained: ‘’My friend Wayne Stockwell suggested a toy run to Little Havens and I thought it was right to head to Broomfield too. We only started to organise it six weeks ago and it was great to get so many people along. It’s such a great cause and riders from other groups joined us.

‘’One of the boys on the wards was the son of one of our members and it turned out he was given our daughter’s teddy, which we’d donated. It was the perfect ending and a lovely occasion.’’

Steve set up the biker group in January this year as he was looking for people to ride with. ‘‘I expected four or five people to get in touch, but almost a year later there’s eleven hundred of us. I believe now we’re now one of the largest groups in Essex. Everyone has been incredibly supportive.’’

Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator for Mid Essex Hospitals’ charity, said: ‘‘It was amazing to see all the bikes outside the hospital. Everyone looked brilliant and the children will love the toys. I’d like to say a big thank you from everyone here to Steve and all the bikers who joined in. It was a spectacular occasion.’’ 

Saffron Building society

Saffron Santa Visits Baddow and Braxted

Baddow and Braxted wards were full of festive spirit as Father Christmas arrived with a sleighload of gifts from the generous staff and customers of the Great Dunmow branch of Saffron Building Society.

With Saffron branch manager Ian Friend donning his best Santa suit and white beard, he and his elfin assistant Amie Wilson toured the wards handing out books, toiletries and socks to grateful patients, accompanied by MEHT nurses singing Christmas classics.

Baddow and Braxted specialise in looking after elderly patients, some of whom have dementia.

Ian Friend explained why the building society wanted to collect for senior citizens: “The society is very community-focused, and my colleague Lynn suggested that elderly people sometimes get forgotten at Christmas.

‘’My mum has spent a bit of time in hospital as she’s got Parkinson’s and dementia, so I’ve seen the good work that goes on. But it was quite apparent that there were elderly people who were on their own. We wanted to see what we could do.

‘’It was great fun being dressed as Father Christmas and seeing the reactions of the patients and the staff was brilliant.’’

Isabel Dobson, junior sister on Braxted, described the atmosphere on the ward at Christmas: “People coming in and donating gifts gives everyone such a lift.

‘’We try to make Christmas as special as possible. We put up decorations and all the staff wear funny hats and sing. On Christmas Eve we put presents out at the end of patients’ beds for them to open on Christmas Day.

“We have a Christmas dinner, hand out mince pies and chocolates, and try to get patients up to watch the Queen’s speech. We’re never empty for Christmas, and patients on this ward don’t always get visitors. But it’s a happy place, and days like today are a big part of that.’’

Festive Event RRT collage 7-12-18

Staff were full of festive spirit as the MEHT charity’s cracking Christmas event rocked the Wellbeing Terrace.

With hospital radio blasting out Christmas classics and the Rapid Relief Team providing burgers and drinks for all hospital employees, the event was hugely popular as staff queued round the block for their complimentary lunch. 

The undoubted highlight was a performance from St Michael’s Junior School Choir who treated a crowd of hundreds to a selection box of pitch-perfect Christmas carols.

Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator for Mid Essex Hospitals’ charity and the brains behind the event, was delighted: “Wow, what an amazing day. Everyone’s community spirit really shone through. The fantastic Rapid Relief Team were a well-oiled machine providing thousands of meals across the hospital, and it was so wonderful to have two local schools involved in the event, with the children so excited to support their local hospital.

‘’A big thank you to Chelmer Valley High School pupils and staff for baking lots of yummy cakes and to St Michaels Junior School for their wonderful singing. The event was a great way to boost morale across the hospital at what is a particularly busy time for our hard-working staff.

“The event couldn’t have gone ahead without the teamwork across the hospital, from health and safety, to parking attendants, volunteer managers, and hospital radio staff. Everyone played a part in making the day a great success.”

The Rapid Relief Team’s Paddy Myatt, who led the 62 volunteers serving the hungry hospital workers, was equally thrilled: ‘It’s our way of saying a massive thank you to hospital staff for all the work that everyone has done here in 2018. We’re really proud to have supplied all the NHS staff burgers today. We provided somewhere in the region of two thousand burgers and five hundred vegetarian and vegan meals. I’m certainly hoping there’ll be an event next year, hopefully in the middle of the year when it’s a bit warmer!’

DJ Phoenix ward visit

DJs Are a Hit on Phoenix Ward

Radio Essex DJs Chris Brooks and Abbie Norbury swapped rap for wrapping paper as they popped into Phoenix ward with a box of presents donated by radio station staff.

The Hit Music Breakfast duo, famous for their mix of chart hits of entertaining chat, met staff and patients as they handed out books, toys and bags of chocolate coins.

DJ Chris Brooks, said: ‘’I’ve bought my kids enough stuff this Christmas, so I thought it’d be good if we could give other kids some presents too.’’

His on-air partner Abbie Norbury added: ‘’It’s the time of year where you’ve got to spread some cheer.’’

They were joined by their producer Jamie Ratcliff, a man who knows way around MEHT after cutting his teeth on Hospital Radio Chelmsford. He said: ‘‘Broomfield does fantastic work and it’s nice to give back.’’

Catch Chris, Abbie, and Jamie on the Hit Music Breakfast from 6am – 10am, Monday to Fri, on Radio Essex 105.1FM/107.7FM.

Chelmer Valley Stroke Unit

On the First Day of Christmas, Chelmer Valley Sent to MEHT…

The students of Chelmer Valley High School brought some seasonal cheer to Stroke ward with a presentation of Christmas-themed art.

The young students’ pieces were based on the twelve days of Christmas and they dropped into the ward to show off their work.

Getting the school involved was the idea of healthcare support worker Rachel Maher. She approached Chelmer Valley after a similarly successful project with students from another school last year.

The framed maids-a-milking, pipers piping, geese-a-laying, and drummers drumming will be on display until the New Year.

Jo Claydon, matron of stroke services, said: ‘‘It’s going to make a big difference to the environment. Nobody wants to be in hospital at Christmas time so it will have a massive effect on our patients. It’s great to have that link-up with the community and see that people do care and are interested in what goes on here. It’s very positive for everyone.’’

Teacher Emma Nicholas, head of art at Chelmer Valley, explained why the school were keen to participate: ‘’We’re always happy to be involved in community activities. We like the opportunity to share some of the work we produce because students have family members involved in hospital practice and family members who have needed hospital care, so it’s nice to give something back.’’

Rachel Finnegan, junior sister on Stroke ward, added: ‘‘The paintings are fantastic, the patients are going to love looking at them.’’

 

Finley Ranson POE award

Child of Courage Finley is a Seven-Year-Old Santa

For most children, this time of year is all about opening presents. But when seven-year-old Finley Ranson won Child of Courage at the Pride of Essex awards, he used £150 of his prize money to buy toys for Phoenix ward at Broomfield Hospital.

Finley, who lives in Battlesbridge, has an incredibly rare medical condition – an allergy to fat. He is believed to be the only sufferer in the UK and only the second case ever recorded. Finley and his mum, Rhys, come to the hospital for weekly fat infusions that take up to eight hours a session.

It took doctors four years to identify the mystery condition that left Finley laid out on the sofa and being tube fed at an age where most children are running around wreaking havoc. It was only when Finley suffered an adverse reaction when fat was added to his feeding tube that his allergy was discovered. It is so serious that even licking a stamp can trigger an adverse reaction.

Finley has endured ten operations, but since having a central line fitted that allows nutrients to go straight to his heart and other vital organs, his health has improved. At the weekends, the West Ham fan can now be found bossing the midfield for Woodham Raiders FC in the style of his favourite player Mark Noble.

The generous gifts Finley bought included iPad chargers and adapters – vital to help pass the time when you’re facing hours of treatment – 36 tubs of Play-Doh, puzzles, a cash register, a Beat the Parents board game, and a Peppa Pig.

Proud mum Rhys explained why her son was so keen to give to the ward: ‘Finley wanted the boys and girls to have some new toys to play with as the some of the toys there were getting a bit worn and had pieces missing. The staff at Broomfield do so much for us. They are like a second family.’

Mel Hodge, senior sister on Phoenix ward, said: ‘When Finley told us he was going to use his prize money to buy toys for the ward, all of us here were stunned. He’s such a lovely boy and really deserves the award. It’s an amazing thing for someone so young to do. Finley’s a very brave boy and spends a lot of time with us here, everyone on the ward was really touched as other children will benefit from his generosity. A huge thank you to Finley from all Phoenix staff.’

ED Trauma Cycle November 2018

Doctors Raise Thousands on Operation Trauma Board Bike Ride

Doctors Louise Wren and Alex Hieatt have raised over £4000 by cycling 93 miles around the picturesque Essex countryside.

The Emergency department pair pedalled to every village in Essex that shares a name with a Broomfield hospital ward to raise money for a Wolverson Trauma Transfer System – a lightweight, carbon fibre board that makes it easier and safer to move trauma patients.

The dedicated duo were on the road for over six hours and battled temperatures as low as 4⁰c wearing hospital scrubs over their lycra.

Acute care trainee and keen cyclist Dr Wren, 25, was the driving force behind the challenge. She planned the route and enjoyed putting her senior colleague through a tough training regime to get him in shape for the big day.

Consultant Dr Hieatt, 45, had never cycled more than twelve miles before and remembers the trepidation he felt before the first training session:

‘When I drove down to Chelmsford for our first 40-mile circuit with my expensive but bottom-of-the-range bike, I saw Louise with her carbon fibre road bike with proper clip-in pedals, and I thought, I’m in trouble here.’

But under Dr Wren’s coaching, Dr Hieatt ‘improved ride on ride’.

The pair set a fundraising target of £4180 and smashed through the barrier only hours after completing the ride, although Dr Wren admits to some anxious moments in the build-up:

‘I thought the target was achievable but I knew it was going to be hard. The week before I really started to worry. When I saw we’d gone past 100%, I rang Alex in tears. It was a really good feeling.’

Dr Hieatt explained the benefits the Wolverson board will bring patients:

‘It’ll make caring for trauma patients much easier. We can get them scanned much quicker, and it makes transferring them on and off the CT scanner much more comfortable. Currently it takes a minimum of five or even six people to safely and efficiently transfer a patient; with the board it takes two or three and you won’t have to roll them again. This is really important because every time you move a patient with serious injury it potentially causes more bleeding or damage the injury.’

And he was also quick to praise the commitment of his energetic colleague: ‘Louise deserves all the credit. She did all the hard work and I just turned up for the training and on the day.’

The doctors’ Just Giving page is still open to donations. If you’d like to contribute, please click the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/operationtraumaboard


Linden Homes Toy Donation

Linden Ho-Ho-Homes Deliver Christmas Cheer to Children’s Ward

Christmas came early to the Phoenix ward with a bumper delivery of toys and books from the Chelmsford office of ho-ho-housebuilders Linden Homes.

In what is now an annual tradition, Linden’s Mollie McKechnie and Jill Price dropped down the chimney with a bulging sack of gifts, and met staff and children.

The toys and books will be wrapped and handed out to young patients in the run-up to Christmas.

Mollie McKechnie, Linden’s marketing coordinator, said: ’It was great to come down to the hospital and we really hope the children love the presents. We’re really keen to help local causes and use our platform to help others. Some of our staff in the office have had children stay on the ward so it’s a cause close to our hearts.’

Mel Hodge, senior sister on Phoenix ward, was on hand to receive the donation: ‘It’s very generous of Linden’s staff and they’ve bought a great range of toys. For children who can’t leave their beds it can get very dull, so giving them lots to do and play with when they’re with us keeps them happy and helps their recovery.’

Linden Homes, who employ 40 staff in their Chelmsford office, is the housebuilding division of Galliford Try, one of the UK’s leading housebuilding and construction companies responsible for high-profile projects such as the All England Lawn Tennis Club roof at Wimbledon, the 2012 Olympic Village and the new Queensferry Bridge in Scotland.

 

Maldon Golf Club - Sweets 2018

Golfers Hit Sand, Raise Grand

The seniors at Maldon Golf Club have turned wayward drives into donations with an innovative scheme to raise money for Mid Essex Hospitals’ charity.

For every bunker members landed in during rounds on the 6216-yard course, they were encouraged to donate to MEHT. After a year of duff drives, inaccurate irons and poor pitch shots, the club had raised a brilliant £1317.

President Jim Marling and senior members Tony Broom and Eric Bane swung by the children’s wards to deliver a cheque and a mountain of sweets, biscuits and books to grateful staff and patients, right in time for Christmas.

Sue Hursit, lead play specialist, was delighted: ‘Donations like this definitely enhance recovery. They make the wards much happier places for patients and their families. The children can get bored quickly and many of them have long waits during treatment, so if we can keep them happy, this means happier families and happier staff.’

Maldon Golf Club, founded in 1891, is one of the oldest in Essex. Mid Essex Hospitals’ charity has been the senior section’s 2018 charity of the year and the relationship is set to continue into 2019.

President Jim Marling said: ‘We’re glad we could help. I always tell our members that one day it could be their grandchildren that need treatment. We always get a great response and although nobody likes being in the bunkers, everyone is more than happy to donate to such a good cause.’

Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator at MEHT, said: ‘A big thank you to Maldon Golf Club seniors, it has been wonderful working alongside them. Their great fundraising has supported several projects including the children’s vegetable and plant-growing area, and the teenagers' outside chill space. I’m looking forward to hearing what they get up to next year.’

 

BRA Ladies Lunch 2018

Ladies Show Support at BRA Christmas Lunch

Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA), the charity that supports patients through breast reconstruction, celebrates the end of another great year.

Every year, the charity organises a lunch to raise funds to help educate nurses, buy specialised garments and offer psychological support to patients who are going through a mastectomy. 

Guests were also treated to an exclusive Christmas market featuring stalls from local artisan makers selling handbags, jewellery, chocolates, cards, candles, and festive gifts. 

Event organiser Annette Palmer, healthcare support worker in the Breast Reconstruction nursing team, said: "This year's lunch has been brilliant! Through ticket sales, raffle prizes and a massive donation, we raised a staggering c£3,000. 

"It's such a privilege to organise this event, I love it. The lunch gives us an opportunity to invite and say thank you to our Show and Tell ladies. They come once or twice a month to talk to the new ladies about their experience and what they went through. They are a vital part of the charity. 

I'm so proud of what we do, and what we have achieved since the charity started 14 years ago."

The Breast Reconstruction nursing team in the St. Andrews Plastics Centre at  Broomfield Hospital have treated thousands of patients across Mid Essex. They provide extra support above and beyond what the Trust can provide through government funding. 

The following business donated a percentage of their sales during the event: Aston Green Interiors, Mrs Button's Handmade Chocolates, Barbara Kilbey Cards, Abigail's Lifestyle & Delicatessen, Anne Graystone, and Elan Candles. 

Thanks also to Asha Laurence for her beautiful singing and our hots the Channels Estate for such a magical afternoon. 

Friends  GT

Blue Tuesday 

Sixteen departments participated as blue shirts, dresses, trousers, jumpers, ties and shoes were donned for a good cause.

Anyone caught using blue language as TeleTracking went live was also asked to donate.

Giving Tuesday is a global event that started in the United States as a reaction to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now in its eighth year, the event encourages people to give money to local causes. This year, events took place in over 150 countries and raised over £395m online.

Charlotte Jefcoate, Fundraising Coordinator, said: ‘It was great to see staff get involved all across the hospital. It was the first year we’ve taken part in Giving Tuesday, so a big thank you to everyone involved. We’ll be going bigger and better next year.’

Giving Tuesday

Hospital charity joins the #givingtuesday movement

The charity that supports hospital care in Mid Essex is taking part in this year’s #givingtuesday campaign.

The campaign, which began in America, is an antidote to the mass consumerism of Black Friday. It’s now a global phenomenon encouraging people to think about others in the run-up to Christmas.

Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator at Mid Essex Hospitals’ Charity, said: “It’s a great feeling to be part of a bigger picture; we are hoping the local community will join forces with staff here at our hospitals, boosting morale and creating a real buzz across the city.

“Raising funds for the hospital helps us to enhance services over and above government funding, from big technological advancements to renovating the beautiful grounds we sit in. Many use the hospital services over the festive period, so supporting us, is supporting the community.

“This #GivingTuesday we are asking local schools, clubs, businesses and individuals to wear #Blue4Broomfield. It’s easy, just wear blue. From blue shirts to skirts, socks to frocks anything goes so long as it’s blue. You can simply donate by texting MEHT01 £1 to 70070. All money raised from this campaign will go towards your local hospitals.”

Since its inception in 2014, #givingtuesday has broken successive Guinness World Records for the most amount of money donated online to charity in 24 hours.

Ben Russell, Director of Communications at CAF, said: 

“Giving gifts is a big part of most people’s Christmas celebrations and, because of this, it is no wonder that Black Friday has become such a feature of the Christmas calendar. However, while many of us will be sharing presents with loved ones this year, millions more will spend it alone, hungry or worse.”



Luke and Gary Wade with Teresa Tredoux, Burns Matron

Family donate to our adult burns ward for the fantastic care of their son

Thank you to the Wade family for raising £400 for our burns unit for the fantastic care of their son Luke.

The Wades raised the money during a joint birthday bash for Luke, 30, and dad Gary, 60. More than 100 family and friends enjoyed a fantastic evening of live entertainment at the Sutton Royal British Legion Club in Cambridgeshire.

Luke and Gary came back to the unit to thank the staff and donate the money they had raised on. There they had the chance to tour the adult burns ward to see the changes made since Luke’s accident in 2009. Gary said: “Walking through those doors just brings back all of the memories. I can picture the night he came in here. The skin was just dripping off Luke’s ears and everyone just descended on him to help. It was incredible.”

Luke had his accident when he was 21 and had only just returned from holiday. He and his dad were cutting and burning trees in their garden when Luke added nitro-methane to an already fuelled fire to make the wood burn quicker. The can exploded, blowing the flammable liquid all over Luke’s hands, torso, legs and face resulting in 34% burns.

Gary said: “When nitro-methane burns, you can’t see it, there are no flames. Even though Luke was covered, disorientated and burning, he still had the initiative to run through the house and jump into the shower.”

Luke spent many, many weeks under the close eye of the unit. He experienced a daily ritual of cleaning and dressing his wounds, having 18 to 28 litres of fluids drained, and ensuring he consumed 3000 calories. Gary said: “We were informed every step of the way. The staff not only looked after our son but made sure that we were okay. There were moments when we weren’t sure how we could make it through, but the team helped us through it.”

Luke underwent 17 hours of surgery, seven skin grafts and attended many months of outpatients’ appointments.

Gary said: “We just wanted to show our appreciation of what you have done for our family. If it wasn’t for the staff on the unit we may not have him now. The staff are just excellent, a different breed of healthcare professionals.”

Luke is now well and living a life to the full, since getting married and having a son of his own. He said: “My experience with fire has certainly put things into perspective and I have huge respect for it. I am really thankful to the team here for all they have done for me and my family. It’s not just the person injured that has a bad time, their family does too and they have been so supportive, so our donation is a little something from us.”



Lee Baker – My robotic surgery 

My name is Lee baker and I had been ill for over 8 years, being sick up to 20 times a day, whilst being under the care of specialists in my home town of Margate in Kent. After having extensive tests I was told there was nothing wrong with me, that it was all in my head. 

My wife was reading the Sun newspaper when she read an article about a woman whose condition sounded just like mine, the article mentioned Broomfield Hospital and Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan the surgeon who saved her life with his amazing robotic surgery.

Following a visit to my GP, I asked for a referral to see this surgeon, and within a month had an appointment with Mr Kadirkamanathan. We were scared, but also hopeful that he may be able to shed some light on my illness.

Within six weeks I was called back to Broomfield Hospital to be told the news that they knew what was wrong with me. I had a condition something called Gastroparesis which meant my stomach muscles were not working and my stomach wasn't emptying, hence the sickness.

We were told we were unable to get the funding for surgery, which would cost about £16,000, so friends decided to set up a Just Giving page, along with staged events and a fundraising auction and by April this year we had reached our target. With the funds now in place as a private patient, I was given the date of 23 August for my operation.

By the time my operation came around my weight had dropped from 18 stone down to just eight.

My potassium levels had dropped so low that my operation was cancelled, due to the high risk of surgery. I was  admitted on to a ward and had potassium pumped in to my body. Mr Kadirkamanathan came in every day, including his days off and the bank holiday weekend, to personally check that everything was going well.

Following my successful surgery on 29 August I had a small meal of soup, and the next day toast and yogurt. I wasn’t sick after either meal.

I was released from hospital the following day, and as the weeks have gone by I starting to regain some of my weight, and my diabetes has also retracted and is now stable.

Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan and his wonderful team have given me my life back, words can never describe my feelings for them and everything that has been done for me and my family.

I agreed to be filmed for the discovery channel documentary, so that it can highlight my rare illness and to show other patients that when you are told there is nowhere to go or there is no help out there, there is hope, and mine was Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan and Broomfield Hospital.

With your support we can put Broomfield Hospital on the map as surgical innovators in Essex; you can donate to the JustGiving page to help raise 1.5 million pounds to buy another robot to allow more people a chance of a normal life like myself and the other people that Mr Kadirkamanathan has helped with this surgery. https:www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot



Diane and Graham Fundraising 2
Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan, consultant upper GI surgeon, Nick Alston, trust chairman, Mr Shahab Siddiqi, consultant colorectal surgeon, and Yvonne Carter, charities manager, with Diane and Graham.

September 14

Fundraising couple twirl their way around the dance floor to raise £1,800 for our robotic surgery appeal

A fundraising couple have twirled their way around the dance floor to raise £1,800 for our robotic surgery appeal.

Diane Whitelaw and Graham Christie held their charity dance at Hamptons Sport and Leisure on August 18. 

Guests enjoyed an evening of ballroom, Latin and sequence dancing, plus a raffle.

The couple were inspired to fundraise for the appeal after Graham underwent robotic surgery.

Diane said: “The evening was a great success, more so than we could ever have imagined. Everyone was happy and loved the music and dancing.

“We are grateful to everyone who was involved, including those who attended, contributed donations and offered raffle prizes. Special thanks go to Currys PC World for donating the Amazon Echo which raised £100 in our silent auction.

“We would also like to thank the following local businesses: ASDA (SWF); Boots; Claremont Garden Centre (Maldon); Jems Dance & Party; Majestic Wine; Morrisons (Maldon); Odeon Cinema; Pizza Express, Prezzo; Sainsburys; Secret Garden Tea Rooms; Tesco;  Vintage Inns (Fox and Raven, Chelmsford); Waterstones; and Wyvale Garden Centre.

“This was our first attempt at running such an event and we are extremely grateful for the guidance and support received from the Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust Charity team.”

Graham’s Story: “Funding the robot is so important” 

Graham Christie, 74, from Bicknacre 

“In February 2015, I visited Cuba for the third time. It has beautiful beaches, glorious weather, interesting architecture, friendly people...but the food was dreadful! I contracted food poisoning towards the end of my holiday, returning home to discover it was campylobacter, which did not respond to the antibiotics prescribed. I was very lucky that my GP at the Danbury Medical Centre was ‘on the ball’. He acted immediately and within two weeks I'd been given a colonoscopy, CT scan and MRI scan, complete with results. I could not have had better treatment. 

“The colonoscopy identified a small cancer in my rectum, in a difficult position to get to. I was fast tracked for surgery and an opportunity arose for the operation to be carried out by Mr Shahab Siddiqi, who suggested robotic surgery.

“At the end of August 2015, I had the operation, which lasted nine hours and included removal of the tumour, repair to a hernia and the fitting of a stoma bag (ileostomy). Fortunately neither chemotherapy nor radiotherapy was required.

“After eight days in Broomfield Hospital, with nurses who went beyond the call of duty in their care of each patient, I was ready to return home and face life with a stoma bag. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I made a conscious decision to continue with life as normal. It took a while to regain my fitness levels but I was soon dancing again (I teach with my partner Diane), rambling with my local walking group and swimming.

“Nine months after my operation, I took a two and a half hour flight to enjoy a holiday in Sorrento and revisited the following year. I also took my grandchildren and their family to Tenerife in November 2016. A year later, I flew 12 hours to Mauritius and coped extremely well. 

“Earlier this year during February/March I was even more adventurous, as Diane and I visited Singapore then went on to Perth, Sydney and Cairns where we experienced white water rafting, amongst other activities. I hope my story will bring inspiration to new ostomates and anyone feeling reluctant to pursue life with the same vigour as before. Don't let it stand in your way. 

“Funding the robot is so important.”

‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.   

There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including: 

•Shorter hospital stays

•Immediate effects during recovery

•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)

Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.

You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot


Lucy and Kristina Cycle Children's Burns Club
Lucy and Kristina.

September 13

Two friends to cycle 50 miles for the Children’s Burns Club who are “very close to their families’ hearts”

Two friends – who are also next door neighbours - will raise money for the Children’s Burns Club as the group is “very close to their families’ hearts”.

Lucy Gard, 13, and Kristina Harris, 30, from Norwich, will cycle 52 miles from Norwich to Aylsham and back on September 29.

Kristina chose this route after investigating the safest routes within a 25 mile radius of her home, as it features cycle paths all of the way. 

Lucy’s mum, Hazel, said: “Lucy is only 13 and cycles to and from school daily and Kristina is accompanying her along the whole route as she is a more experienced cyclist. 

“They are preparing for the challenge at every opportunity, cycling after school and at weekends to build up their stamina.” 

Lucy said: “We came to know the Children’s Burns Club in 2007 when my brother Tommy was six. He fell in the bath and scalded 37% of his body. He was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and that’s where our journey with the Children’s Burns Club began.

“Through family weekends, summer camps, days out and constant support they have allowed Tommy to accept his burns and grow in confidence into the man he is today. They work with young children up to the age of 18 to become proud of their scars and give them the opportunity to spend time with other burns survivors. This allows the children to feel part of a family, they meet new friends and have the chance to partake in adventures they might otherwise have not had the chance to do. 

“The support our family was and still is given by the Children’s Burns Club is something completely inspirational and without it I don’t honestly know how we would have got through this time.”

INFORMATION: To support Lucy and Kristina, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hazel-gard


Peterborough Burns Fund Research Team
Prof Selim Cellek, Justine Sullivan, registrar, Marcus Ilg, post-doc, Alice Lapthorn and Prof Peter Dziewulski.

September 11

Generous donation of £880,000 from Burns Unit Appeal Fund (BUAF) continues to benefit direct patient care in the East Anglian region

The generous donation of £880,000 from the Peterborough-based Burns Unit Appeal Fund (BUAF) continues to benefit direct patient care in the East Anglian region.

The most recent allocations include funding for Anglia Ruskin University PhD student Alice Lapthorn, who is undertaking a project to use cells grown from burns scars and manipulate them with commonly available medications to modulate burns scars. The St Andrews Centre provides tissue for the research on a regular basis. This work is being carried out under the auspices of the St Andrews Anglia Ruskin (StAAR) Research Unit, a partnership established more than five years ago to forge a close relationship between the St Andrews Centre Surgeons and Anglia Ruskin University. The StAAR research group is being integrated into the new medical school under construction at the Chelmsford campus. The current scar project is being led by Professor Selim Cellek of ARU and Professor Peter Dziewulski from the St Andrews Centre.

Alice said: “Scarring occurs after almost all burn injuries, however there is currently no treatment to prevent their formation. Using the cells isolated from the tissue samples of patients at St Andrews, we will use high-throughput screening to test 1,500 commercially available drugs to see if any can be repurposed to prevent scar formation. By the end of the project we hope to have identified a group of drugs that can be tested further for their anti-scarring properties, with the ultimate aim of one being used clinically in the future.”

In addition, funding has been provided for a clinical research coordinator for Burns and Plastics, Karen Cranmer. The role is continually developing and Karen is currently involved in a number of home-grown burns research projects. The first, ‘Study of Prescribing Patterns and Effectiveness of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam (SPECTRA)’, is a multi-national (across six countries), multi-centre observational, retrospective chart review designed to collect clinical and resource utilisation data on patients who are treated with this antibiotic in a hospital setting. The study will look at clinical outcomes, resource utilisation and outcomes related to practice pattern. 

Karen is also involved in the research project for the ‘Assessment of Chronic Pain in Burn Injury’. This study was set up at the St Andrews Centre by Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Patricia Richardson and Anaesthetic Fellow Dr Yvonne Price. The primary objective of the study is to ask: ‘Which patients are living in the community with a healed burn and still require analgesia for pain?’. Data is also collected from patients who do not have pain issues, therefore all suitable adults who have a healed burn less than ten years ago are being asked to complete a ten minute paper questionnaire during an Adult Burns Consultant Clinic. So far, 38 patients have been consented and recruited to this study.

Other projects which the £880,000 fund has been utilised for since it was donated to the St Andrews Centre in April 2015 include improving the outreach service in the Peterborough area – operating out of a base in Ely – to support burns patients. Upgrades have also been made to the day room on the Adult Burns Ward, such as new recliner chairs, plus equipment to measure burn depth; improve patients’ strength and range of movement after injury; assist patients with standing practice; and to help patients regain hand and upper limb function.

The proceeds were garnered via more than three decades of fundraising and investment by the BUAF trustees to improve the lives of burns patients across the East Anglian region.

Professor Dziewulski said: “The benefits of the money for patient care have been seen in different areas, for people from Peterborough and all around the East Anglian region. There has been a direct improvement in access to care facilities for patients and for equipment for patients with burn injuries - it has impacted a broad area of activity. With the remaining money, we intend to buy more equipment, continuing to invest in the assessment and treatment of burns scars and helping to fund further research.”

For more information, please go to https://www.anglia.ac.uk/medical-science/research/drug-discovery-group


Chris Chitticks
Chris Chitticks.

September 5

Former patient set to rock out to raise money for the Chemotherapy Unit

A former patient is set to rock out to raise money for the Chemotherapy Unit.  

Chris Chitticks, 69, from Mayland, has organised a rock tribute concert at the Tractor Shed Theatre, Latchingdon, Essex, on September 15. Doors open at 7pm, and the show starts at 8pm, finishing at approximately midnight. 

The concert features Glamstar, a tribute to glam rock, ‘Quo’d: A Tribute to Status Quo’, and ‘Sounds Better Naked’, a tribute to hair rock.  

Proceeds will go towards the Chemotherapy Unit at Broomfield Hospital, in thanks for the care Chris received there, and also to Macmillan Cancer Support. 

Chris’s Story 

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, at first I was surprised as I had no symptoms at all, and after talking to my consultant, Mr Lewie, and talking about the two options he offered me, my reaction was ‘well let’s get on with it’ and I had a radical prostatectomy (removal of the whole prostate). 

“It never crossed my mind that I would not make it through and come out the other end clear of cancer, I believed all would be ok as I felt very well so had no cause to think otherwise, and being a positive thinker I just dealt with it as if nothing was wrong. I think others around me i.e. family were more worried than I was. 

“Dealing with recovery was hard going as I had quite a few complications after the main operation, mostly with urethral problems. This took probably the best part of four years to eventually get it all sorted, and resulted in having to have two implants done. I then had to have radiotherapy which was ok, but took seven weeks out of my recovery. Then there was the impact and problems to come to terms with as it does change certain aspects of your normal life, but I accepted that this is how it was going to be and just got on with my life. 

“It was during my various operations and other treatment that I learnt a lot about prostate cancer and felt that so many men do not really know anything about it, so as I have been in the music business most of my life, I thought that some sort of awareness event may be a good way to let them know about the dangers of not getting check-ups.  

“The treatment that I received from Broomfield and eventually UCLH (University College London Hospitals) made my mind up to put into action my H.I.T.S (Head in the Sand) music event. This is year five of raising awareness, and this year is a bit different as I have decided that as Broomfield Chemotherapy Unit looked after me so well during my treatment over a six year period that I would like to give something back by way of raising some funds for them. I am now over eight years clear and all is well.”

INFORMATION: Tickets for the concert are £10 and can be purchased by calling 07947 069191. You can donate to the Chemotherapy Unit by sending a cheque to Mid Essex Hospitals, MEHT Charities Office, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7ET. You can also text donations by messaging MEHT01 and the amount to 70070.


Jacob Watkin fundraiser
Jacob Watkin and his family with the Head and Neck team.

September 4

Son raises more than £900 for Head and Neck Cancer Service via skydive in thanks for “phenomenal care” of his dad 

The son of a patient who underwent surgery for mouth cancer at Broomfield Hospital took part in a skydive to raise money in thanks for his dad’s “phenomenal care”. 

Jacob Watkin, 18, jumped from an aeroplane in March one year and one week after his dad, Dwayne’s, life-saving operation was a success. He exceeded his target of £372 by more than double, which he had aimed to raise to represent £1 for “every day his dad has been brave”. 

Jacob and his family recently attended the hospital to present the cheque to the Head and Neck team. 

This follows his dad Dwayne’s organisation, together with the Head and Neck team, of a fundraising event for the service which was held at Danbury Sports and Social Centre last year, raising more than £7,500. 

Dwayne said: “When I found out that I had cancer in my mouth I was terrified. The thought of not knowing what I would be waking up to after the operation was overwhelming as I also have a phobia of needles, which made it worse. On the day of the operation the whole head and neck cancer team were so reassuring that it did ease the apprehension considerably.  

“The level of care and attention I received during my time in intensive care and on the ward was outstanding. I can’t thank everyone enough for their diligence, professionalism and compassion, so much so that I wanted to give something back.” 

Jacob said: “The team looked after my dad so well following his cancer diagnosis and operation.  

“The past year has been challenging for our family. We’ve had our ups and downs and got through it as a unit. In February 2017 my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, also known as head and neck cancer. Nothing has hit me this hard before but I stayed strong not only for my dad but for my family. Dad’s operation date was March 2, 2017. The day felt like a year waiting for the news on how the operation went. My mum and I tried taking our mind off it by keeping busy and staying productive but nothing really worked. 

”The operation was a crazy 12 hours long and when the news came through that it was a success, suddenly nothing else mattered. Although the worst part was over in such a relatively short time, our year of getting through this had only just begun. I want to personally thank the staff, doctors and surgeons at Broomfield Hospital for their phenomenal care, and also every single person who helped us through this incredibly tough time. You all know who you are and this leads me to say you all mean the world to me.”