An army of fundraisers have helped get The James Cook University Hospital’s Retinal Development Appeal off to a fantastic start.
The appeal which aims to fund a state-of-the-art eye scanner and other leading-edge technology has already raised more than £84,000.
Donations have been coming in fast with fundraisers organising everything from a coffee morning at Stokesley Methodist Church to a speed dating event for Teesside University students.
Staff members at the trust have also been getting in on the act. E-communications officer Marie Lozman was joined by family members Margaret Levy, Andrew Levy, Dave Lozman and Paula Wensley for a hike up Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles – which raised more than £1,100 thanks to generous donations from family, friends and colleagues.
Margaret wanted to do something memorable to mark her 60th birthday while Marie was keen to support the eye outpatient team’s appeal as she underwent urgent eye surgery at the hospital for a detached retina two years ago.
“You take your eyes for granted until something goes wrong but the team at James Cook were amazing,” said Marie. “The consultant diagnosed the problem, told me he could fix it and operated the next day. The care I received was fantastic so when we heard about the appeal we knew this was what we wanted to walk up Ben Nevis for.”
Top of the appeal wishlist is an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner which produces detailed cross-sectional and 3D images of the eye to help clinicians quickly diagnose sight threatening conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Kay Henderson, the senior ophthalmic science practitioner who is co-ordinating the appeal said: “This is a fantastic start to the appeal. We have over £2,700 of pledges on our Just Giving page including £300 raised by runners in the Tees Trial Races summer series and last week a patient walked into the department after reading about the appeal in the local newspaper and handed over a cheque for £2,000. Another patient raised £850 at their 60th wedding anniversary celebrations. The support we have had from all our patients has been overwhelming!”
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/eyescannerappeal/ or text SCAN51 and the amount you wish to donate to 70070.