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THE WOMAN WITH A BIG HEART RAISES THOUSANDS FOR SCOTS HEART PATIENTS

July 07, 2003 2:55 PM

The wife of a heart transplant patient has raised more than £30,000 so she can donate a new machine which will benefit heart transplant patients, from all over Scotland.

The new state-of the-art Echocardiography Machine was today (7 July 2003) given to Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) by Mrs Pauline Wakley, who raised the money through celebrity donations, an on-line auction and charity dance.

The size of a briefcase, the portable new machine will mean that patients' hearts can be monitored at their bedside.  Patients do not therefore need to be moved.

The machine will be used in the GRI's Scottish Cardiopulmonary Transplant Unit - the very same unit that Mrs Wakley's husband Bill was a patient in when he had a successful heart transplant in 1997.

Mrs Wakley, from Aberdeenshire, worked tirelessly for 18 months to raise the money needed for the new piece of equipment, she said: "My husband's condition was deteriorating rapidly and without his transplant he would have died.  There is no way we, as a family, could ever repay the GRI's Transplant Unit.  They were marvellous and I just wanted to do something to help them and their patients.

"I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped to raise this money including Siemens, the manufacturers of the machine, who were a great help. I was astonished and delighted by the kindness and generosity shown by so many people from all walks of life."

North Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust's Chairman, Ronnie Cleland, officially received the machine from Mrs Wakley at a reception in GRI today.  He said: "We are delighted with the Echocardiography Machine, its arrival means that we can build on our existing services and improve the comfort of our patients."

The arrival of the new machine at the GRI also marks the first day of national transplant week.

There have been some 262 heart transplant procedures at GRI since the inception of the Cardiothoracic Transplantation programme in 1992.

For further information please contact Emma Gregory on 0141 201 3964.

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