In 2017, we launched an appeal to raise £175,000 to fund ten life-saving 'MitraClip' procedures for patients too weak for heart surgery. We ended up raising enough money to fund 15 procedures

Despite mitral valve disease rapidly emerging as a major cause of death in the UK, the NHS withdrew its funding for a revolutionary device called a 'MitraClip®' in mid-2017. The device is often the last chance some patients with the disease will have. So, the Charity stepped in to raise enough money to fund ten surgeries. 

The MitraClip® device is a small metal clip covered with fabric that is implanted onto a person’s mitral valve. The clip is inserted through a catheter tube, so there’s no need to open the chest or to temporarily stop the heart, as happens in more invasive heart surgery. It is a relatively new ‘keyhole’ technique that allows repair of the mitral valve through a small puncture in the groin. Once inside the heart, the device clips together a
small area of the mitral valve to stop or reduce
life-threatening leaks.

Aside from the main and obvious benefit of saving the lives of people who are too poorly or weak for surgery, the procedure has many benefits. Patients can often return home the day after surgery, helping them return to normal life sooner and saving the NHS bed space and money. The procedure also reduces the likelihood that the patient will need continued care within the community once they return home.

54-year-old Celia Coote, was diagnosed with a faulty mitral heart valve. Thanks to the innovative surgery, doctors and nurses were able to fix the leaking valve without surgery. Celia said:

I was far too unwell to have more surgery, yet my mitral valve was leaking. A clip was the only chance I had to make a recovery. My daughters and husband had prepared themselves for the real possibility that I might die. As soon as the clip was fitted, my heart started to recover. It saved my life. I am able to lead a relatively normal life. I count my blessings every day.

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