Appeal to raise cash for Da Vinci robot reaches £750,000

AN APPEAL to keep life-saving equipment at Queen Alexandra Hospital is continuing to get support, with thousands raised in the past few weeks.

Saturday, 17th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:41 am
QA surgeon Jim Khan with the QA robot Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132761-8)

More than £30,000 has been collected in recent months for the Rocky Appeal, meaning the amount needed to keep the Da Vinci robot at QA now stands at £750,000.

For Mick Lyons, who has been co-ordinating the appeal on behalf of the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), it is a great landmark to reach with 18 months left to pay.

‘This is such a significant amount to reach,’ he said.

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‘We are now at £750,000 to go which seems like a lot but it shows how far we have come already.

‘In the past few months we have had £30,000 donated which is incredible.

‘This is what we need to happen. We need people to remember the appeal and to continue to support it.’

As previously reported in The News, the Rocky Appeal must raise £1.6m for the Da Vinci robot which has four arms and manoeuvrable hands and can twist 360 degrees for keyhole operations.

The robot means narrow and hard-to-reach parts of the body can be operated on with precision and care.

Using the remote-controlled robot means surgeons can work with more manoeuvrability than by using traditional methods. It also leaves the patients with minimal scarring and pain during recovery.

In September a plea was launched by Mick and consultant surgeon Dr Jim Khan to help secure the remaining money that PHT, which runs QA in Cosham, owes to the robot’s owners, American firm Intuitive Surgical.

Since that plea, £30,000 has been raised through charity dinners and personal donations, including one of £5,000.

People have also been raising cash through the ‘boats of bounty board’ which sees family members remember their loved ones on a board on the ground floor of QA hospital.

Mick added: ‘The board has around 400 boats on it now and that has been a really wonderful way for us to raise money. We had O Sole Mio in Port Solent hold an event for us which raised £3,000. That was a lovely night and it normally does well in donations.

‘We have another payment to make in June and another 18 months before the full payments needs to be made.

‘We just need to keep going.’

To find out more about the appeal and how to donate, call Mick on (023) 9228 6487 or email [email protected]