Taken from The Northern Echo – Written by Duncan Leatherdale
A CANCER survivor has given more than £10,000 to a hospital to repair a microscope used in her breast reconstruction.
The £75,000 operating microscope at University Hospital of North Durham has had a broken part for 18 months which has meant only the surgeon using it could keep a proper track of how the operation was going.
Consultant plastic surgeon Tom Collin said it is important that others in the operating theatre could see a live feed from the scope to ensure they were prepared for any eventuality.
Now the hospital will be able to repair the part allowing the microscope to be linked to a TV in the operating theatre so all inside, including medical students, can see what is going on.
The hospital will make the repairs thanks to a £10,378 donation from club singer Trish Greensmith, who started a cancer charity under her stage name Chyrelle Addams.
Mrs Greensmith from Willington, County Durham, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and seven months ago underwent a breast reconstruction carried out by Mr Collin using the microscope.
Since her diagnosis Mrs Greensmith and her 29 volunteers have raised more than £107,000 to buy medical equipment for use in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The microscope, which is capable of magnifying the procedure by up to 40 times, is used for around four breast reconstructions a month but is also used for various other operations where surgeons need to repair minute blood vessels only 2mm wide.
Mr Collin, who plans to become a patron of the Chyrelle Addams Cancer Appeal to show his appreciation for the donation, said: “For nursing staff in the operating theatre it is vital they can see what is needed because time is of the essence.
“When you are doing reconstructions the maximum time it should take is one and a half hours, by being able to see how the surgery is going they will be able to respond much more quickly when they are needed.
“It also affords much greater teaching opportunities.”
Mrs Greensmith, who recently opened a charity shop at the cancer centre she has created in her hometown, has also given another £10,000 to the hospital to buy four infusion pumps used to deliver drugs to patients.
She said: “I am delighted that this money will help patients and would like to thank all of those who continue to help me raise it.”