A charity campaign has been launched in Bath to fund a piece of the latest medical equipment that will help save lives of cardiac patients across the South West.
Organisers are putting on The Big Hearted Valentine’s Ball in February to raise £14,000 to buy the latest fibre optic equipment for the Bristol Heart Institute, which treats seriously ill patients from a wide area, including Bath, Bristol, much of Wiltshire and north Somerset.
The campaign was launched at a reception in Bath’s historic Guildhall, hosted by Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council Councillor Karen Walker and attended by guests from the local community.
Among those attending the launch was the man behind the fundraising campaign, Gerald Creed, managing director of south west based Bugler Coaches, who after undergoing life-saving heart surgery wanted to give something back to the NHS as a thank you.
He said: “We have pledged to raise enough money to buy this equipment for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and are now asking for support.
“Every penny raised by The Big Hearted Valentine’s Ball will go to the fund, with overheads and administrative costs being paid for by the sponsors.”
One of the South West’s leading senior heart surgeons, Raimondo Ascione, Professor in cardiac surgery and consultant adult cardiac surgeon at the National Health Service Bristol Heart Institute, has lent his support to the campaign.
He said: “A modern fibre optic intubating laryngoscope is needed at the BHI to help anaesthetists to quickly and safely connect patients to a ventilator.
“This piece of state-of-the-art equipment is particularly helpful for patients with a difficult airway, or in an emergency where any delay risks the patient’s life.”
Statistics show that someone suffers a heart attack every seven minutes in the UK, and as many as one in four people are at risk of dying from heart disease.
His colleague, consultant cardiac anaesthetist, Dr Chris Monk, told guests at the launch: “In 20 years’ time this piece of equipment will be standard in all NHS hospitals, but what this appeal will mean is that patients in the south west will be able benefit from it now, thanks to Gerald and all those who are giving up their time to support the ball.”
The black tie dinner and ball will take place on Saturday 9th February 2019 at Bath’s newest four star hotel, the Apex with tickets costing £75/head.
The evening includes professional entertainment, a drinks reception and three course dinner, created by Apex Hotel head chef Huw Woods.
More information can be found at: www.bigheartedvalentinesball.co.uk.