I was alerted by a colleague to watch Channel Four News last night (Monday 18th May).  The very first item featured Royal Brompton and the remarkable story about ECMO.  This Charity has featured ECMO extensively over the years because many people (and thank you if that includes you) have given to our appeal to buy more ECMO machines.  

This appeal was launched last October - each machine costs around £75k.  It gave me enormous pleasure to announce at our Carol Concert (which had over 700 close friends and supporters there - again if you were there, thank you) that we had just bought our first ECMO.  I felt a real catch in my voice as I said this as part of my welcome.  Because our Carol Concert was in aid of our ECMO appeal, there were several ECMO survivors in the gathering - and one of our readers was a university student whose life had been saved by ECMO.  

Thanks to our amazing donors, we then raised enough for another ECMO and as soon as the pandemic took hold, one of our most loyal and generous charitable trusts, the Kusuma Trust UK, gave a gift to buy another ECMO.  Little did we know, when we launched the campaign, just how pivotal this equipment would be in 2020.  

The stories from ECMO survivors and their families are very emotional.  ECMO is the last chance when all other hope is exhausted - and yet there are hundreds - thousands of people - many of them young, with families and with lives ahead of them, who would not be here without ECMO.   

Although Channel Four featured Royal Brompton, ECMO is used at Harefield Hospital too.  Many of the Covid-19 patients who have been brought to Royal Brompton and Harefield over the last eight weeks have come on ECMO - ventilators have not saved them.  Not everyone survives as these are the most poorly patients, but several do and after a period, they go home to lead their lives.   

If you have a chance to catch the Channel Four news programme from yesterday, please do.  If you have given to our ECMO campaign, take a moment to realise the part you have played in saving lives - mostly young lives - that is a pretty amazing thing to have done. 

Donate to the Emergency Covid-19 Appeal and help us to purchase more ECMO units