Donors and former patients gathered to celebrate the impact of Broomfield’s surgical robot at an evening organised by Mid Essex Hospitals Charity.
The robotic surgery appeal has so far raised over £1.3m and is now just £189,000 short of hitting the fundraising target.
Over 60 people gathered in the Medical Academic Unit to enjoy canapés and speeches by consultant surgeon Sri Kadirkamanathan and medical director Kevin Beaton.
The group then visited an operating theatre where surgeons demonstrated the capabilities of the Da Vinci XI technology and supervised as a number of guests took turns at the controls.
Megan Jiggins, 27, had surgery on her oesophagus just three weeks ago, having been unable to eat solid food. Megan can now eat a conventional diet again and returning to the theatre where her procedure was performed, she described her recovery as “amazing”.
Jamie Blackman, 34, has a gastric pacemaker fitted at Broomfield after being fed via a tube for two years. He said his surgery was “genuinely life-changing”.
For surgeon Sri Kadirkamanathan, it was opportunity to catch up with many of his former patients, all of whom were full of praise for his work.
“It was a wonderful night. It was lovely to see so many patients and donors,” said Sri. “The patients are doing so well and are feeling the benefit of the robotic surgery.
“A lot of people raised money for us, they all had a go at the robot and they loved it. They all could see how worthwhile their fundraising is. Many of them said to me that it was great to raise money for a local cause and then see where the money had been spent.
“The interaction between the surgeons and theatre staff and the people who came along was absolutely fabulous. It’s very humbling to have people travel from as far away as Sussex to be here.
“Ultimately it’s all about the results and it’s so gratifying to see everyone doing so well. I’m humbled by everyone’s generosity and humbled by their praise.”
Event organiser Charlotte Jefcoate, fundraising coordinator for Mid Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “It was such an enjoyable evening and so fantastic to gather together so many people who have either contributed to or benefited from the robot.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Sri and his team for inviting everyone into the theatre. It was great to be able to showcase the work of our world-class team here at Broomfield. We couldn’t do it without our amazing team of fundraisers whose money has made such a difference to so many people’s lives. “To continue doing this brilliant work we need keep chipping away at the target. If anyone would like to know more about the amazing impact of robotic surgery or contribute to our appeal, please get in touch with the charity because this technology is changing people’s lives.”