Phoenix Stroke Appeal launches final push to £½m target
The Phoenix Stroke Appeal has begun the New Year by kicking off its bid to raise £100,000 to meet its target of £500,000 to bring 'gold standard' stroke services to Cornwall.
Fundraisers across the county are already doing their bit for the cause.
In local hospitals new equipment bought with appeal money is making a huge difference to patients and staff.
Phoenix chairman Rik Evans said he was "moved" by the public response to the appeal.
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He said: "Raising £400,000 in today's economic climate is testimony to how important this cause is to the people of Cornwall."
Money raised by the Phoenix Stroke Appeal is spent at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro, (RCHT); Bodmin and Camborne Redruth Community Hospitals; and for stroke carers in the community.
Keith Platton, from Cubert near Newquay, suffered a stroke in August. He said: "I got up in the night and had no feeling at all down one side.
"We got an ambulance – they did a check and fast tracked me into hospital.
"Within a couple of hours I was on the Phoenix Ward at Treliske, and after two days there I was sent to Bodmin where I was in rehab for five weeks.
"They got a therapy routine together for me.
"I couldn't stand or walk at first, or use my right side, and my face was drooping.
"I was five weeks in there and improving all the time."
Kate Schroeder, the Phoenix ward manager at RCHT, said new equipment was making life better for patients and easier for staff.
She said: "We have received helpful equipment such as a portable suction machine and a 'cough assist' to help people with swallowing difficulties, and more moveable hoists to help move people out of bed safely.
"There are also smaller things that really help patients' comfort – such as an inflatable bathing aid to wash their hair in bed, and bedside vanity mirrors.
"These have been useful particularly to men who want to shave themselves but have limited ability to stand or sit."
She said receiving new equipment had helped the ward in its initiative to become a "productive ward", as part of a national drive to "release time to care".
Ms Schroeder said: "It's about making the way you work more efficient.
"We're asking staff on the ground to contribute so that the right tools are to hand when you need them, and you don't have to hunt for things.
"This is where having the extra equipment from the Phoenix Stroke Appeal is really coming into its own."