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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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£5k plea for vital Furness General Hospital heart equipment

IT is a time of year synonymous with generosity, giving and acts of kindness.

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APPEAL: British Heart Foundation members Ray Short, middle left, and Ron Preston at the launch of their Echocardiogram fundraising project at Furness General Hospital, with cardiac physiologist Jenna Armistead, left, and clinical investigation manager Kay Smith JON GRANGER REF: 50041030B000

Now charity campaigners are hoping people will have a heart, get in to the festive spirit and help them take the final step towards providing a vital piece of medical equipment for South Cumbria.

The British Heart Foundation Furness and District Branch has this year been working towards a £35,000 target to pay for a state-of-the-art echocardiogram for Furness General Hospital.

But members still need to raise around £5,000 and are desperate for anyone who can help to come forward so the specialist equipment, used to diagnose and assess heart problems, can be bought by the new year.

Branch chairman, Ray Short, said: “We had been hoping to have it by Christmas, but I think that will be a struggle now.

“Obviously we reached out to our fundraisers not so long ago, with the annual walk, and the Furness people are so generous that I sometimes wonder about whether we can go back to them again.

“But I wondered if any companies or businesses had some way of helping us through their charity schemes – whether any of them could contribute in any way.”

The BHF in Barrow has spent 2012 working towards buying this machine, setting aside all the money from their annual walk, contributions from Furness Building Society’s Infinity Account scheme, plus £10,000 from hospital charities.

At the moment a mobile echocardiogram is brought to and from Lancaster so it can be used to help diagnose and treat Furness patients during set times.

But Mr Short said it is vital for FGH to have its own scanner.

Echocardiograms use high frequency sound pulses to take a detailed picture of the heart for those who have had a heart attack or heart failure or who may have valve problems or congenital disease.

It is especially useful for assessing newborn babies and infants, as it is painless and easy to use.

Anyone who wants to offer help finding the final £5,000 funding is asked to contact BHF Furness and District treasurer, Ron Preston, on 01229 829939 or at ron.preston@dsl.pipex.com.

Contributions can also be sent to Mr Preston at 28 Norland Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 4EL.

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