Friday, 23 September 2016

Chariots of Fire

It's been a busy old week with my book 'Life is for the Living', as we've been working alongside Papworth Hospital Hospital Charity trying to raise funds at a couple of events held by the hospital. First up was the Annual Members Meeting held in the Papworth Village Hall, where we enjoyed talks on the latest developments at the hospital and the annual staff awards. 

Then on Sunday we were pleased to volunteer with Papworth Hospital Charity and help sell copies of 'Life is for the Living' on their charity stall in the marquee at the 'Chariots of Fire' event in Cambridge. Rob and I enjoyed a pleasant morning working alongside other volunteers and staff from the hospital.

Chariots of Fire is one of Cambridge's largest annual charity events. Teams of six each run a 1.7 mile course in relay format. The event is organised and managed by Hewitsons Charitable Trust. Each year the trust picks a charity to benefit from the event and this year Papworth Hospital Charity was chosen. 

It was an early start and quite chilly when we arrived at 7.20am, but a bacon butty and plenty of hot coffee soon warmed us. After breakfast, the runners and their supporters started arriving and everywhere busied up. There were quite a few Papworth teams taking part, including my transplant team and a team of Papworth transplant patients. We were able to say hello and chat with other patients, staff and their families and everyone was raring to go and hoping to raise lots of funds for Papworth Hospital Charity. 

The charity had pledged that all the funds raised would go towards supporting Papworth's DCD Heart Transplant Programme. The DCD heart transplant procedure is set to increase the number of lives saved among people waiting for heart transplant. Usually donors are brain stem dead but with this new DCD transplant procedure developed at Papworth in May 2015, hearts can be used from donors after a cardiac death. The procedure and equipment required to undertake this type of transplant is being funded presently by charitable funds and as it's been such a success so far in increasing the number of potential donors and heart transplants taking place. It's crucial to develop the programme and raise as much funding as possible to continue developing the programme, especially as there is still such a shortage of organ donors.  The DCD heart transplant procedure is being rolled out and undertaken by other heart and lung transplant centres in the UK and Papworth currently is a world leader in this field.

There's still time to donate to this most important cause, which is helping to address the shortage of hearts available for transplant and save lives.

Papworth Hospital charity - Chariots of Fire Event 2016

Here are some pictures of the organ care system equipment required to undertake this life saving procedure together with some of the team who've worked on developing it.

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