15.02.2018 I must admit, before we launched our new appeal, I didn’t know the full extent to what goes on in a catheter laboratory – or ‘cath lab’. Having launched the appeal and meeting with the dedicated staff at Royal Brompton Hospital, I now know so much more. I’ve learnt how the procedures that happen in a cath lab – like having a pacemaker fitted or an angiogram to examine blood vessels – give lives back to people, like Jara (pictured below), who would otherwise be in danger of heart attacks, or other potentially fatal conditions. I’m incredibly keen for the Charity to help make sure the unit gets the innovative equipment it needs to continue delivering this high standard level of care. Jara, who was born with a congenital heart defect and is a patient at Royal Brompton Hospital, knows first hand how crucial funding for cardiac care is. When you are born with a congenital heart defect, that’s the only life you know. You take more breaks and take longer to do things. But when you get a device fitted to help you live, it shows you how fragile life can be. I live a healthy, happy life and I’m quite sporty. I became more aware of the value of time and using this time wisely. The reality of our #ManyMoreHearts appeal is that the hospital is able to fund a minor refurbishment to the unit, in order to get it into top condition… except for three vital missing pieces. The money they can put into the cath lab will run out before they can fund a new scanner, operating table and screens. So, the facility is the focus is to raise the funds needed to provide our heart patients with the best possible facility, so their treatments are quicker, safer and more comfortable. Never be in any doubt that your donation won’t find its way to real, life-changing projects. They absolutely do – and without your support, our ambitions remain ambitions. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to bring these appeals to life. Where we are able to, the Charity will put on donor events to show fundraisers the impact of their efforts – such as our recent tour of the new intensive care unit and imaging centre at Harefield. We do this because showing our donors the impact of their vital work is one of our greatest pleasures. If you are a donor and would like to connect with what you have helped to support, please let us know. Speaking of greatest pleasures – I am incredibly proud to say that we will be hosting ‘An Evening with Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub’ on 12 April this year, to help raise funds for the #ManyMoreHearts appeal. The evening will take the form of an interview, much like ‘This is Your Life’, with Michael Parkinson – and if you’re too young to remember that, I do envy you! Tickets will go on sale on 9 March and the evening will be taking place at the beautiful Royal College of Physicians. Make sure you keep the date in your diary! Keep an eye out on our website or social media pages, as we’ll be revealing more about this exciting event very soon. And of course, we can’t host events like this without our sponsors, so many thanks to our lawyers, Bircham Dyson Bell, for once again supporting our Charity.