You may have noticed plenty of stories featured in The News in recent days about a mass robodance taking place in Portsmouth next week.
This is no attempt to outdo former Pompey striker Peter Crouch’s renowned goal celebrations, though. Instead, the world record-breaking attempt at HMS Temeraire is all about raising money and awareness for the futuristic £2.4m Da Vinci surgical robot at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The high-tech remote-controlled device is used at the hospital in Cosham to reduce operation times and enable patients to go home quicker.
It also allows surgeons to work more precisely and have 3D views to get to hard-to-reach areas of the body.
There’s much to be proud of, too, with QA the only hospital in the country to use the robot for multi-disciplines.
Since May, the technology has been used by surgeons in Portsmouth to carry out more than 60 operations.
One of those to benefit from the device is featured on page 11 today.
At the age of just 28, Kelly Franckeiss faced the prospect of having a stoma – a surgically-created opening on the abdomen which allows faeces to exit the body – when she underwent a bowel operation.
But thanks to the Da Vinci robot, she woke up from the procedure delighted to learn it was not needed.
‘The robot has changed my life,’ said Kelly.
‘We need to keep this robot in Portsmouth to the benefit of us all.’
Kelly’s happy tale is certain to be matched by plenty more patients at QA in years to come should the robot remain in the city.
But at £2.4m, the technology does not come cheap.
And that is why we are backing the bid to get as many people as possible to Burnaby Road on Friday, November 22 to show off their robot moves for a worthy cause.
A five-minute routine could see a world record being broken and, more importantly, enable QA to keep leading the way with pioneering surgery.