23/10/15: Treatment to save sight inspires charity fundraising night
An orchestra is set to perform a concert to thank the hospital that saved the sight in their leader’s left eye.
Harrow Symphony Orchestra is putting on a concert in aid of Imperial College Healthcare Charity at The Parish Church of St Alban in North Harrow on 14 November.
The charity raises funds for research, training and equipment at five London hospitals, including the Western Eye in Marylebone, where orchestra leader Robert Was has been treated for a torn retina, which can cause loss of vision.
Violinist Robert, of West Drayton, said: “The doctor who treated me, Feras Jaalouk, went over and above the call of duty. If I hadn’t had the treatment I have had I wouldn’t be able to see out of that eye now.
“The orchestra has raised money for charity before and I wanted to raise funds for the Western Eye Hospital as a way of saying thank you.”
Tears in the retina can lead to retinal detachment, which can cause loss of sight if left untreated.
The father-of-three, who has led the orchestra for about 14 years, was treated for a detached retina to his right eye at the hospital in 2010. But in October last year he started having problems with his vision in his left eye.
“I thought I had a strand of hair in my contact lens but it was still there when I took the lens out and cleaned it,” said Robert, who works as an independent financial advisor.
“When I put the lens back in my vision was all misty and I thought I just hadn’t cleaned it properly. It was still the same the next morning so I went to the optician, who referred me straight to the Western Eye Hospital. I never thought it would be a torn retina.”
Robert had two tears in his retina, which were unsuccessfully treated using a laser first.
"After a third procedure to correct the issue, I just remember Mr Jaalouk scratching his head thinking what am I going to do to put it right? It seemed to me he wasn’t just doing his job – there was so much care and attention there,” said the 60-year-old grandfather.
“I had further surgery, then afterwards I was examined and given the okay from a different doctor. I wanted to thank Mr Jaalouk so I waited for him to become available. When he saw me he insisted he check my eye again even though another doctor had seen it because he wanted to see for himself. He went over and above the call of duty.”
The concert on 14 November starts at 7.30pm and will be conducted by the orchestra's principal conductor, Gustavo Ubeda. It will include Beethoven: Egmont Overture, op. 84, conducted by Andrew Hickman. As well as Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, op. 33 with cello performed by Daniel Benn, and Dvorak: Symphony No 8 in G, op. 88.
For tickets, which are £10, email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively you can buy them on the door.
19/10/15: Sign up for 5K or 10K Santa Run
Imperial College Healthcare Charity is looking for budding fundraisers to join the popular Santa Run on Sunday 6 December.
Why not create a team to join about 4,000 other Santas taking part in the event in East London’s Victoria Park?
You can choose from a 5K or 10K route and everyone who takes part gets a Santa suit to run in.
The money you raise can go towards a specific appeal at Imperial College Healthcare Charity, or to a ward or department of your choice.
To sign up, click here.
12/10/15: Julia Bradbury supports charity's Birth Centre Appeal
Television presenter Julia Bradbury is supporting a charity appeal at the hospital where she gave birth to all three of her children.
The 45-year-old had twin daughters Xanthe and Zena in March this year and son Zephyr four years earlier at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.
Julia was so impressed by the care she received there that she is backing Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s £500,000 appeal to expand and renovate the birth centre at the West London hospital, which is now in its final stages with only £50,000 left to raise to reach its target.
“I have given birth to all my children at Queen Charlotte’s so I have first-hand experience of the wonderful staff there,” she said.
“Queen Charlotte’s is regarded very much as one of the best hospitals you can have your children because of the staff and the level of experience that exists within the team. I’m very keen that it maintains that reputation, which is why I’m supporting the appeal.”
Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises money for equipment, research and training at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s five hospitals, including Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital.
The charity’s Birth Centre Appeal aims to create a new birth room and birthing pool, new antenatal consultation rooms, and to install air into every birth room for resuscitation cabinets.
Before Julia had her first child, she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a painful womb condition that can affect fertility.
Despite this, she and partner Gerard Cunningham went on to become parents to their son, Zephyr, now four, after a 33 hour labour at Queen Charlotte’s.
The former Countryfile presenter went through five rounds of IVF before she became pregnant again last year, and she was keen to have another natural birth.
“That’s not necessarily the easiest thing to do with twins,” she said.
“Baby number one was delivered after 11 hours, but then things got a bit interesting. I was losing a lot of blood and they were monitoring the second baby’s heart rate. They said they needed to get the baby out.
“I looked up and saw more medics had come in. It was a scary 45 minutes and the staff were brilliant. When you’re in that situation you don’t really realise exactly what’s happening. The atmosphere in the room had changed but when I asked what was wrong they said it was all under control.
“I know now that she wasn’t breech but she was facing the wrong way and they needed forceps to get her the right way round. It became urgent and I lost about two litres of blood.
“I can’t say enough good things about the staff at Queen Charlotte’s – they are so dedicated and hard working.”
Julia has returned to work and says the twins are doing well.
“The best way to describe them is bonny. They are absolutely beautiful – they’re very happy and smiley babies and they’re doing a lot of bouncing. They’ve just started to flip themselves over so they’re on the move,” she said.
“Zeph is a great big brother. He kisses them lots and tells them they’re lovely.”
You can support the Birth Centre Appeal online by clicking here, by texting BORN16 £10 to 70070, or by sending a cheque made payable to Imperial College Healthcare Charity (4406) to Imperial College Healthcare Charity, Ground Floor, Clarence Memorial Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, London, W2 1NY.
02/10/15: General grants deadline today
5pm deadline on Friday 2 October to submit your application
A reminder to all Trust and Imperial College staff that the deadline for applications to Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s general grants is 5pm on Friday 2 October 2015.
The charity has received a large number of applications that have been started online but need to be submitted by the deadline in order to be reviewed.
These charitable awards are for projects that help improve the care given to patients, as well as create learning and knowledge that can be disseminated within the Trust and across the NHS. Applicants are invited to submit project proposals across two broad themes, medical and surgical innovation at St Mary’s Hospital, and children (neonates through to adolescents). Awards are for between £10,000 and £100,000 for a period of one year.
Following a highly successful Charity Week last week, the Trust’s charity has received a surge of interest in general grants and its other grants programmes, including Dresden Hardship Funds and the upcoming Research Fellowships which launch on 2 November 2015. In the last six years the charity has awarded over £13million in grants to over 300 projects to staff at the Trust and College.
To apply, click here.
01/10/15: Team take on Tough Mudder to thank hospital for care
A father teamed up with his colleagues at the weekend to thank St Mary’s Hospital for treating his daughter.
Pablo de Cara took part in
12-mile obstacle course race, Tough Mudder, with colleagues from Telefonica Digital, to raise funds for Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
The charity raises funds for five London hospitals, including St Mary’s, where Pablo’s 11-year-old daughter Guadalupe was diagnosed with and is receiving treatment for a Lupus/immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) condition.
Pablo, 46, said: “We are so grateful to the hospital that my colleagues and I decided to raise money for the charity as a simple and small gesture trying to give them back part of what they do every day.”
Guadalupe was seen by doctors at St Mary’s four months ago after spending time in other hospitals, as her blood platelets were almost at zero and she was suffering nose bleeds and bruising on her body.
Pablo, a father-of-three, said: “She has finally been diagnosed with a Lupus/ITP condition, and is currently under treatment. She is responding very well to the medication.
“She is having a normal life, attending school, and having frequent control visits at the hospital.
“Over all of this time, the attention given by every person in St Mary’s has been wonderful, nurses, consultants, staff members, everyone,” said Pablo, who is director of marketing at Telefonica Digital.
The race included tear gas, electric shocks, mud and challenging obstacles.
To sponsor the team, visit www.justgiving.com/CSPI-toughmudder.