Not far to go now to keep the Da Vinci robot at QA

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We’re nearly there – just £196,000 left to find to keep the revolutionary Da Vinci robot at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

At a cost of £2.4m – which has to be found by June – the Da Vinci robot seems a rather expensive piece of kit.

The robot is currently being leased to the hospital by American firm Intuitive Surgical, which owns it, and QA has to pay off the remaining £196,000 to be able to keep it.

But what cost do we put on saving lives?

Derek Gillard knows just how special the machine is and that is why he encouraged his Hayling Island Lions to raise money.

Now he has handed over a £2,000 cheque to the fund to pay off the remainder of the money.

He was diagnosed with bowel cancer and saw the benefits for himself of the hi-tech surgery robot that can perform keyhole surgery.

Thankfully Derek is on the mend.

He said: ‘I thought the robot was remarkable. I was operated on for six hours but only took four days to recover in hospital. The scars left by the robot were so minimal and it was a remarkable success.’

Derek’s story alone puts the cost of the robot into perspective.

With conventional surgery a patient would probably spend a lot more time in hospital than four days with the costs that that entails – nursing staff and doctors, not to mention the fact that Derek freed up a bed much quicker for someone else to be treated.

Donations have come from far and wide for the robot, including a whopping £15,000 from the hospital’s own League of Friends.

The News is proud to be associated with its campaign – Da Vinci, the final push – and hopes that the final £196,000 won’t be long in coming to retain this marvellous piece of technology.