Former heart patient Phil Bailey is backing £500,000 appeal
Former heart patient Phil Bailey is one of the many people supporting a £500,000 appeal to build a brand new cardiac centre at the West Suffolk Hospital.
The My WiSH Charity’s ‘Every Heart Matters’ appeal was officially launched last week by Newmarket jockey Frankie Dettori, in front of hospital staff, charity members and patients and was attended by Mr Bailey, who lives in Mundford.
He has received what he calls “fantastic” treatment at the West Suffolk after first being diagnosed with heart failure back in May 2013.
My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal needs to raise £500,000 to support the build of a new cardiac diagnostic unit alongside the cardiac suite to create a fully integrated cardiac centre that will enhance the treatment of all cardiac patients.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.
Mr Bailey, a leading light in restoring model ships from the garage of his home in The Lammas, said he had been feeling under the weather for a number of weeks back in 2013 and went to see his doctor who advised him to go to A&E at the hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
He drove to the hospital and was admitted where he stayed for a couple of weeks and put on a course of drugs before he returned for an angiogram which discovered he had a faulty mitral valve in his heart.
He was referred to the Papworth Hospital the following year where the valve was repaired along with him having a single heart bypass which he describes as having “a heart MoT”.
“I have always seen myself as being pretty fit,” said the 65-year-old. “So it came as a bit of a shock to the system.”
Since the operation he has returned to the West Suffolk for medical check-ups and described the whole experience at the hospital as “superb” and is encouraging people to back the appeal.
He said: “Ever since I set foot in that building I have felt really safe and comfortable and the actual follow up work has been superb as has all the care I received there.
“When I went back to the ward last week I was instantly recognised by the staff and that is four years down the line. You are part of something and there is nothing that they will not try to do to help you.
“When I first went onto one of the wards I crazed them to have my laptop so I could view my emails for my business and I was not a good patient so they got one of their people from the IT department to come and see me.
“They set me up with free wi-fi and so I was able to get going straight away and I believe I was the first person to have the free service at the hospital which meant a huge amount to me.
“The care and concern of the wellbeing of any of their patients is uppermost and they are just fantastic.
“The more people who know what’s going on about their hearts the better for the whole community,” he added.
For more information about the appeal and how to donate call 01284 712952, email: email@example.com, or go to the website: www.mywishcharity.co.uk.