A fundraising family has provided a special lead screen which will help to fully protect hospital staff when x-rays are being taken and increase comfort for them during long days in theatre.
Hannah Wintle, 16, from Darlington and her parents Fiona and Adrian wanted to give something back to thank Mr Kalyan, the team and the caring staff for looking after Hannah so well and helping her on the road to recovery when she had surgery for scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of the spine which occurs in children.
Consultant spine surgeons Mr Raman Kalyan and Mr Waleed Hekal – who specialise in paediatric and adult spine disorders – operated together to perform the surgery and Hannah was also cared for by specialist nurse Cheryl Honeyman and the dedicated paediatric spine team at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Hannah also organised a fun quiz with brother Alex encouraging everyone to enter and asking for donations to help towards the medical equipment at her school.
Grandad Doug Crabtree also helped Hannah with fundraising and generous donations from the Durham Provincial Lodge of Mark Master Masons, the Darlington and Staindrop Lodges of Mark Master Masons, other Masonic lodges and individual lodge members boosted the total raised.
It was a real family feat and a big thank you to family, friends and to everyone for their support and helping to raise this fantastic amount to provide the screen.
The family’s fundraising efforts will also help provide additional protective equipment for the surgeons and other theatre staff to use.
Special cuddly teddy bears show young children what spinal braces look like and are used for teaching in clinic. Hannah’s mum, Fiona, kindly ordered them from America after seeing them online.
Scoliosis surgery is long and complex and involves lots of x-rays to check the safe position of the instrumentation and the correction of the curve. Surgeons and theatre staff wear heavy lead aprons which partially protect them from repeated radiation, but do not protect their whole bodies. In addition, wearing the lead aprons for long duration causes significant discomfort to the shoulder and back.
The special lead screen is taken into theatre to allow staff to stand behind it when xrays are being taken, protecting them fully from radiation reducing exposure to parts of the body not covered by lead aprons. The screen would also help in reducing the shoulder discomforts as some team members can avoid wearing an apron altogether.
Mr Kalyan said:” The paediatric spine team would like to thank Hannah, her family, and in particular, her granddad, Doug Crabtree, for all their hard work raising the money to purchase the screen for theatre 15 at James Cook. It was lovely to see Hannah and we very much appreciate the family’s support.”