Above & Beyond, the local charity that raises funds for Bristol city centre hospitals, celebrated World Heart Day by launching its £830,000 Bristol Heart Institute (BHI) Appeal at a special event in the Bristol Heart Institute atrium.
Cheltenham Town Football Club Manager, Gary Johnson, who underwent triple-heart-bypass surgery at the Bristol Heart Institute in March, met with Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Alan Bryan – father of Bristol City footballer Joe Bryan – and Above & Beyond’s new CEO Paul Kearney at the BHI to show his support and launch the Appeal.
Every seven minutes, someone in the UK will have a heart attack and 435 people will die every day due to cardiovascular disease. As one of the leading cardiac centres in the country, the BHI treats 40,000 patients each year, performing over 500 keyhole surgeries a month and 17,000 diagnostic scans annually, at a cost of £46 million.
The Bristol Heart Institute Appeal will raise funds to purchase the latest surgical and diagnostic equipment and to improve facilities to meet the growing demand for its services. Projects and equipment that require funding include a new echocardiography facility, so that some of the sickest patients are no longer moved between the BHI and Bristol Royal Infirmary when at their most vulnerable, ultrasound equipment for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to provide urgent bedside diagnosis, and heart valve devices to support very high risk patients who have suffered heart failure and other serious heart conditions.
Gary Johnson, former Bristol City Football Club Manager who currently manages Cheltenham Town FC, said: “I can’t say how much I appreciate the amazing care and support I received from all the staff during my time at the Bristol Heart Institute. I wouldn’t be here without them and I can’t thank them enough. It’s an unbelievable service so I was delighted to come down to tell everyone how important it is to get behind this appeal so that staff can carry on doing fantastic work.”
Jenny Anstey, Matron at the Bristol Heart Institute, commented: “People from across the South West directly benefit from having specialist cardiac services on their doorstep and your help with the Bristol Heart Institute Appeal will enable us to push the boundaries of innovation even further for future provision of care.”
Paul Kearney, CEO of Above & Beyond, added: “I’ve seen firsthand the outstanding care provided by the dedicated staff at the Bristol Heart Institute. The Appeal will enable us to improve facilities and provide the latest equipment that will keep the BHI at the forefront of cardiac treatment and research for years to come. I’m very excited to be involved with my first appeal since becoming Chief Executive of Above & Beyond and I’m confident that together with the people and businesses of Bristol, we can reach our target.”
Above & Beyond staff and volunteers used the launch event to showcase the many ways individuals, community groups and businesses can get involved to support and fundraise for the Appeal. Staff and volunteers took part in challenge events, bake sales and knitting for a heart-themed ‘yarn bomb’ set to take place in February.
Founded in 1974, Above & Beyond is the local charity fundraising for all nine city centre hospitals, many of which are specialist centres for the South West region. Each year Above & Beyond raises £3m to make a real difference to patient care and hospital experience with a focus on creating welcoming environments, supporting staff training, providing the latest equipment and funding innovative research.
For more information about the Bristol Heart Institute Appeal, visit: https://www.aboveandbeyond.org.uk/appeal/bhiappeal
To find out how you can support the Bristol Heart Institute Appeal by getting involved with a fundraising event, visithttps://www.aboveandbeyond.org.uk/fundraise