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New cardiac facilities open - thanks to your support

New echo facilities - thanks to your support

Dr Saul Myerson and Dr Jim Newton are delighted with the creation of the new cardiology outpatient and imaging facilities at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The area, funded jointly by the charity and the Trust, is located right next to the Oxford Heart Centre. In October 2014 it opened to patients, bringing all the echo areas together.

This means that patients no longer have to move between several areas across the hospital and appointments should be both quicker and more comfortable.

Thanks to your support, the department has the very latest cardiac imaging technology available. Staff are able to perform more scans, collaborate further in leading research and perform more complex assessments and lifesaving procedures.

Dr Myerson said: "It's such an improvement for our patients; they now have a bright airy space, comfortable waiting areas and more privacy. There's also more advanced 3D echocardiography machines bringing the very latest technology available to our patients."

Dr Jim Newton added: "This development has transformed the way we work and really improve the whole experience for patients. I am now a consultant who is embedded within the department, right next to our technicians, which can only be good for communication and making the whole medical process more efficient.

"Our patients are seen in a much more pleasant environment and, perhaps most importantly, the whole process is much quicker for them."

Head of Fundraising, Eleanor Jones, said: "We are incredibly grateful to all those who have worked so hard for the Heartfelt Appeal, helping to make this new facility a reality.

"Over the past two years we have seen a huge amount of fundraising: from dinners and dances to marathons, cake sales, variety shows and even aunt sally tournaments and chessathons!

"Particular thanks must go to Alexandra Williams who raised a magnificent £80,000, Dr Tim Betts who ran multiple marathons, Sir Christopher Ball who helped steer the campaign and the Doris Field Charitable Trust which gave £60,000 toward the purchase of a state of the art 3D heart scanner."

More and more people are affected by heart disease; if you would like to help the Heartfelt Appeal please contact us.

You can also make a donation online:

Do remember to tick the gift aid box if you are eligible, as that will increase your donation by 25 percent.

Sir Christopher's story

Sir Christopher Ball

"I had to do something to show my gratitude."

After a glittering career in academia, including a knighthood for services to education, Sir Christopher Ball could be forgiven for taking life easy.

Instead, the 76-year-old is spearheading the Oxford Heart Centre's campaign for a new Echocardiography Suite with more energy and verve than most people half his age. A super-fit marathon runner, he completed an amazing ten marathons in ten days, despite being in his 70s.

Last summer, after suffering a series of heart attacks and having triple heart bypass surgery, he volunteered his experience to lead the fundraising appeal.

"The heart unit gave me back my life and I feel much gratitude for that," he explained. "It was quite unexpected when I had my heart attacks. I thought it might be my age and that perhaps my lungs were going, so I didn't take those symptoms very seriously.

"But when I found myself walking through the middle of Oxford and having to sit down on a wall just to get my breath back, I began to think something might be wrong," he added.

"At A&E they were just wonderful. I was taken to the heart unit and eventually ended up having surgery. Afterwards, I thought 'I have got to do something to show my gratitude'."

"There are about 2.2m people who live in the Oxford area and for whom the JR is their hospital," he said. "We know the incidence of heart disease is such that one in four people will need that heart unit at some point, so it is essential to us that it should continue to be the world-class unit that it is. For that we must all cooperate to provide the unit with echo technology that is essential for its work."

Ted's story

Ted Jeffery

Ted Jeffery was one of the first patients to enter the new Oxford Heart Centre when it opened in September 2009.

The 72 year old former Royal Artillery soldier and postal manager from Oxford loved the new facilities, his son Rob explains: "Dad loved having his privacy and own en-suite, it was a home from home for him."

Ted had been treated by the cardiac team for ten years when he finally lost his battle with heart disease. Rob and his family set about fundraising to thank the staff who had cared for their dad, and honour the man they loved and missed.

They raised over £3,500 by putting on two family fun days, and nominated the Heartfelt Appeal to be the chosen charity at the Gladiator's Social Club in Oxford, raising another £1,500.

"We had a great respect for Dad's doctor, who gave us so much more time with our father, which was really appreciated. It was good fun raising the money and feels like a fitting way to say thanks to the Centre on Dad's behalf.

You would be surprised by how many people want to support a local charity, so I would encourage others not to be daunted and just get out there and have a go."