Our fundraising appeal to raise enough to buy two new pieces of ECMO equipment is going well.  We are aiming to finish this appeal very soon because, of course, there is more on the horizon for the Charity to support.

Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals are desperate to stay ahead of the game so they can offer the very best treatment and care for our patients. The ECMO team has been very busy fetching patients back from all over London and the South of England – including tiny babies. So, when you hear about how ECMO saves lives it seems like science fiction. The equipment takes the blood away from the patient, re-oxygenates it, and puts it back into the patient to enable that critically ill patient to stay alive. And yet it is all in a day’s work for the ECMO team and every year hundreds of lives are saved because of this equipment and the fantastic expertise and dedication of this amazing team. 

Thank you to all of you who have already helped us with this appeal, whether that was by coming to our quiz last November, joining us for our wonderful Carol Concert in December with Ronnie Wood and Zoë Wanamaker or perhaps you bought a raffle ticket… or maybe you just thought you would give a donation. You have made a real difference.

And the Charity is already looking ahead to the new campaign for Harefield Hospital and for our new financial year. Details of our new challenge will emerge but, in the meantime, there is always the need to support our transplant teams and their expertise in using the Organ Care System.  Like the ECMO campaign, this is also the stuff of futuristic science stories. But it happens right here, in the UK’s biggest heart and lung transplant centre at Harefield Hospital. I hear so often from families where a loved one has been on the transplant list for months – possibly even years. This must be a tense time, especially as the weeks turn into months. 

Then there is the call and the patient comes in to Harefield and hears the magical message that a heart or lungs have been donated and that person has been given the chance of a new life. I will never forget meeting the irrepressible John McCafferty who was, for a time the longest surviving heart transplant patient in the world. He was given just months to live until he had a transplant.  He then lived for 20 years – had children, had grandchildren and became a close friend to our Charity. His wife told of her great joy when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The magic continues with heart transplants performed at Harefield hospital, giving lives back to patients – and their families. If you have been a donor to our Organ Care System appeal, you will have played a part in saving a life of someone like John. Thank you.