News Beat Spring / Summer 2022

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t’s been a busy six months since we last updated you on the activities of Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. We are placing an ever-greater emphasis on supporting research at our hospitals. Research is absolutely central to progress in healthcare. The more we learn, the better options we have for diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung conditions. So much really effective research is carried out by investigators who are also clinicians, and Royal Brompton & Harefield hospitals have an outstanding track record of making breakthroughs with a highly practical impact. You can read in this edition of News Beat about the development of new clinical research facilities at Harefield Hospital and the launch of an innovative consultant research fellowship. Neither of these would have been possible without your support. We also continue to help the hospitals with the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19. Providing practical support to Covid-19 patients, and their families, was the focus of our Doubling December campaign and I’m delighted to say we achieved our target of raising £40,000 for patients. As well as this, we are raising funds to equip Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ Genetics and


Genomics Team with the latest sequencing technology, which will help clinicians diagnose inherited conditions. We have also provided £50,000 of funding to researcher Andreia Pinto to look at the impact of Covid-19 on cells. You can read about Andreia’s work, and other new research projects, on page eight. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in fundraising in the year ahead. You could join our golf day in Denham, strap yourself to a plane over Essex or march over the bridges of central London. And everyone should mark their calendar for the return of our Annual Fun Run & Family Day. You don’t have to climb Kilimanjaro like Hassan Ghaffar, who appears on our cover. Every contribution makes a difference. Thank you for your support, now and always. Richard Bowyer Chief Executive





elcome to the first News Beat of 2022. We have a busy year planned, so read on to find out what we

have in store. 2021 was a year filled with much uncertainty. New Covid-19 variants meant that many of our plans had to change, but we were still able to hold a range of events over winter including a quiz night hosted by Alan Davies and our Christmas carol concerts. Sadly, we lost a great friend of the Charity in November. Lung transplant patient Andrew Mackenzie raised over £20,000 for the hospitals and his humour enriched the lives of everyone he met. We were sorry to hear that he passed away. Our thoughts are with his family. This year we are raising funds for young patients and for new sequencing technology to help with the diagnosis of genetic conditions.



We also have a range of events to get involved with, including the Harefield Summer Picnic and the return of the Annual Fun Run & Family Day. We can only provide for patients at the hospitals because of your dedication to fundraising. Your phenomenal work is what makes everything the Charity does possible. Thank you for your amazing generosity. Alastair Ball Editor of News Beat

Sharing your story inspires others to help us fundraise for our hospitals and provides comfort for other patients and families. You can unleash your creative side and support our fight against heart and lung disease at the same time. Please email the Charity at to get started. @rbhcharity /




OUR APPEALS With your help, we are working to make Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals even better for patients


ight now, we are raising funds for young patients. We want to fund a paediatric physiotherapist to help children with lung conditions improve their breathing and live healthier lives. We are also raising money for the Foulis Ward education project, which supports young patients with their GCSE and


A-Level school work when in hospital. This appeal will make a huge difference to the lives of young patients, helping them live normal lives despite their conditions. You can donate or fundraise for this appeal on our website


DECEMBER DONATIONS DOUBLED Thanks to your wonderful generosity, this December we raised £20,249 via donations, our two carol concerts and our Christmas events. Thanks to a super-supporter those gifts will be doubled, which means that together we raised over £40,000 for the Road to Recovery appeal. Thank you to everyone who donated, fundraised, sung, ran or shopped with us in December.

GENETICS APPEAL The Charity is raising funds to provide Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals’ Genetics and Genomics Team with a new sequencer. It will help to confirm a diagnosis of a suspected inherited condition in patients who have symptoms and in their family members before symptoms start. Catching a disease early can make it easier to treat or prevent it from developing. Demand for genetic testing has increased with the team delivering a quarter of the cardiac testing for the UK and a third of respiratory testing. You can find out more and donate on our website

@rbhcharity /



NEWS FESTIVE FUN AND FUNDRAISING This December we had a festive flurry of Christmas celebrations. The month began with Royal Brompton Carols by Candlelight at the stunning St Luke’s Church in Chelsea, where guests were treated to angelic singing from The London Oratory Schola and raised over £10,000. A week later, Harefield Carols by Candlelight wished Merry Christmas to Harefield staff and supporters, whilst

raising over £1,000 for the hospital. On the first weekend of December, we put on some jingle bells and our Santa hats for some Santa silliness with our first ever Virtual Santa Dash. Participants ran 1, 5 or 10km and raised £590. Another first was the Harefield Festive Fair, where the community and local businesses came together to raise £688 for the hospitals. All the funds raised from these events was doubled as part of Doubling December. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the hospitals at Christmas.


Alan Davies hosted a night of risky quizness at St Columba’s Church in Knightsbridge. The quiz consisted of a veritable Spanish Inquizition of testing trivia, perplexing pictures and complex connections written by quiz master Rich Warren, and a fiendishly difficult music round provided by Jeremy Limb.



The night was attended by intrepid Beyoncé Know-alls and Agatha Quiz Teams who enjoyed a delicious sausage supper provided by Scrumdiddly Café whilst they mulled over their answers. There was also a raffle with prizes including tea at The Ritz, a Dishoom voucher and Shakin’ Stevens’ back catalogue. Alan kept all our Quizzy Rascals entertained with witty quips throughout the night. Reigning champions Random Rovers showed they had the best trivia skills, whereas the prize for best team name was picked up by “Non the Pfizer”.

Together we raised £5,000 for Royal Brompton Hospital.

LUXURY HOTEL STAY FOR HOSPITAL STAFF The Carlton Tower Jumeirah has been a crucial part of the Knightsbridge landscape since it opened in the 1960s. Following a refurbishment, the luxury hotel reopened last year and offered four Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital staff members a free stay in one of their luxury suites, as a reward for all the hard work our NHS colleagues have done during the pandemic. The four winners were chosen by ballot. China Pickering, a physiotherapist and one of the winners, said: “It’s so nice that the hotel acknowledges the hard work that

everyone has done and is continuing to do. The past 18 months have been hard for everyone around the country, so it is wonderful to take this time to reflect on the people we have helped.” The hotel also made a £20,000 donation to the Charity. Thank you, Carlton Tower Jumeirah, for recognising the amazing work of the hospitals. @rbhcharity /



Karina Lopes

Dr Carmel Stock

Andreia Pinto

TOMORROW’S TREATMENTS Today’s research leads to tomorrow’s treatments. At the Charity, we are committed to keeping Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals at the forefront of medical research


ast year the Charity awarded three research fellowships to non-medical professionals to help them develop their skills. The three recipients were Karina Lopes, who is working to improve the diagnosis of abnormal aortas in foetuses, Dr Carmel Stock, who researches Scleroderma and interstitial lung disease, and Andreia Pinto, who studies how Covid-19 infects cells. Congratulations to all three fellows. Your research will provide the diagnoses and treatments of the future.

significantly expand our throughput,” Lyndon Bridgewater, Associate Director of Research and Development, said. Research patients require longer hospital appointments than regular clinical patients, so by creating a dedicated space for these patients the hospital will be able to hold more research appointments. “We would hope to use this new facility as a catalyst to further develop the Heart Science Centre as somewhere where this kind of cutting edge research goes on,” Lyndon said.



The Charity provided £100,000 for a new Harefield Clinical Research Facility as part of the Heart Science Centre at Harefield Hospital. “This dedicated space for research patients will allow us to 8

The Charity has a new medical fellowship for researchers looking for a consultancy position, to establish themselves as an active researcher and help maintain the hospitals’ position as world leaders in heart and lung care.


Royal Brompton saved Vanessa’s life when she had Covid-19, but her journey to recovery has involved more than fighting off the virus



t the beginning of 2020, Vanessa was gravely ill with Covid-19. At one point, her family were told that she would not survive the night. A doctor at Royal Brompton suggested she be given ECMO. Vanessa was one of the first people in the UK to be treated for Covid-19 with ECMO. She responded well and pulled through. “I woke up not knowing where I was, quite scared because the doctors and nurses were in full space suits. The world had gone into lockdown. Everything had changed,” Vanessa said. Being critically ill had an impact on Vanessa’s mental health. “I have nightmares and when I talk about them, they are very vivid. When I was dying the nightmares were quite scary.”

Vanessa physically recovered from Covid-19, but the experience left her with emotional scars. Dr Anne-Marie Doyle has been helping Vanessa with her psychological recovery. “It’s not just overcoming a sickness, but overcoming so much more,” Vanessa said. Having Covid-19 has affected Vanessa’s family as well. “I am very aware of what my family went through. Often I feel like they’re overlooked. They went through a trauma where they are fully awake and fully aware of potentially losing someone they love.” Thanks to your donations to Doubling December we are funding a Post Covid Mental Health Programme to help patients like Vanessa on their journey to recovery. Find out more on our website @rbhcharity /




From handcrafting Christmas decorations to climbing mountains, you have done incredible things to raise money for patients at the hospitals A TRIBUTE TO ANDREW MACKENZIE Everyone at the Charity was very sad to hear that a dear supporter of the hospitals, Andrew Mackenzie, passed away in November. Andrew had a lung transplant at Harefield Hospital in 2014 and went on to be a heroic fundraiser, handcrafting wooden reindeer and snowmen. By selling these he raised over £20,000 for the hospitals. Harefield Hospital Fundraising Manager Sallinder Rai said: “It’s heart breaking when we lose someone who has been such a brilliant supporter.” Andrew made a huge difference for patients like himself and he enriched the lives of everyone he met. Thank you for being in our lives Andrew.





Kirren walked the 30.6 miles from Central London to Harefield to raise funds for the hospital after they gave him, and his family, more time with his brother Stuart. He smashed his fundraising target of £250, raising £1,421 in total.

NEW ULTRASOUND £75,000 was donated for a new ultrasound by a generous supporter whose best friend, Barney Cordell, received a double lung transplant at Harefield. Ultrasounds are an essential piece of equipment for the transplant department. The new machine has delighted those who rely on it and has also streamlined the service for patients.








Thank you to NHS Charities Together for donating £50,000 to fund a brand new Activity Coordinator. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been strict limitations on visitors and so the purpose of this role is to support adult patients at both hospitals to address non-clinical needs and improve the patient experience. Molly Suthers, who started in this role at the end of 2021, said: “The staff are amazing, and I want to contribute to the high quality care we give patients by providing diversionary activities that can make their time in hospital more pleasant.”

Hassan joined Harefield Hospital as a clinical nurse specialising in mental health in summer 2021. He is already reaching great heights by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and raising £2,729. Hassan said: “This is recognition of the endless work across RB&HH by all clinical and non clinical teams who are strongly committed to delivering high quality care for patients and relatives. And a special shout-out to the psychological medicine team across RB&HH; you rock!”

MICHELLE CRAWFORD On Valentine’s Day in 1992, when Michelle was only ten years old, she had a heart transplant at Harefield Hospital. Since then, she has been RAISED a dedicated supporter of £12,000 the Charity, raising over £12,000. This included supporting a new intensive care unit in 2017 and, this year, raising over £600 to celebrate her 30th Heart Anniversary. Thanks for being a fantastic advocate and friend of the charity.

BOURNE END AUCTION ROOMS Bourne End Auction Rooms in Marlow raised over £2,000 in 2021, in tribute to the care that Harefield hospital gave an employee’s parent. @rbhcharity /





TRUE COLOURS TRUST A big thank you to True Colours Trust, who donated £20,000 to improve the parent spaces on the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. The waiting room and kitchen were fully refurbished and to give the spaces a calming feel, Enya Lachman-Curl produced bespoke artwork inspired by nature. The result is a more welcoming and functional environment to benefit parents who are going through a challenging time. Catherine Gathercole from True Colours Trust said: “We are thrilled that these new spaces have been refurbished, providing parents and carers with a dedicated, comfortable place to rest, eat or just have some breathing space.”




James had a heart attack and was treated at Harefield Hospital. He said: “It was a privilege to receive such high standard of care.” After he recovered, James raised £3,370 for the Charity. Thanks James, this will make a huge difference to future patients. 12




Wes raised £1,990 for the hospitals for his 40th birthday. Well done, Wes.


CO-OP SUPPORT Harefield and Ickenham Co-ops were tremendous supporters last year. They hosted the 5th hole refreshments at the 8th Annual Shakin’ Stevens Golf Day, provided hot chocolate and treats at our Festive Fair and mulled wine and mince pies at Harefield Carol Concert. They also provided care packs and wrapped Christmas socks for patients staying in hospital over Christmas. Thank you, Co-op, for everything you do for staff and patients. RAISED




BLACK BOY GOLF SOCIETY The Black Boy Golf Society in Bricket Wood raised £3,130 when they chose us as their charity of the year. The gift was to say thank you for the care Harefield Hospital gave society member Gavin Cloke, who sadly passed away.

Tilman Marsh has been treated for cardiomyopathy for 10 years at Harefield Hospital. His condition had been controlled by medication, but by 2005 the medication had become less effective, and his health was declining. Tilman received “the gift of a heart” after being on the waiting list for 10 months. After his recovery, Tilman became interested in bee keeping, leading to him setting up a colony of bees at Harefield Hospital. He collected their excess honey and sold it as Harefield Honey at the pavilion in Harefield Hospital on 30 September. The honey sold out on the first day and raised over £800 for the hospital. @rbhcharity /




ON? SKYDIVE On Sunday 3 July experience the rush of your life as you jump out of a plane 10,000 feet above the ground. We have a limited number of places for our skydive, so sign up now to experience this once in a lifetime thrill. l Sign up to skydive at

GOLF DAY This year the 9th Annual Shakin’ Stevens Golf Day will be held at Denham Golf Club on Thursday 23 June. Join rock legend and Charity ambassador Shakin’ Stevens and other celebrity guests for a day of golf followed by a three course meal and raffle. l Register as an individual or team on our website at golf-day-2022


WING WALK Join our elite club of high-flying fundraisers by taking on our Wing Walk. Strap yourself to a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane and take to the skies to raise funds for the hospitals. Places are available for our 2022 Wing Walk on Saturday 9 July. Sign up for the Wing Walk at


FIREWALK Put your nerves to the test and conquer your fears with firewalking: the art of walking on hot coals without being burned. We are looking for brave soles whose feet can handle the heat and blaze a trail for the hospitals. l Sign up online at


FUN RUN After a two year break the Harefield Annual Fun Run and Family Day will be back on Sunday 4 September. Join us for a day of family fun with stalls, music, cakes, drinks and a run or walk around the beautiful Harefield grounds. There will be a virtual element to this fun run, for those who cannot attend in person. l Find out more and sign up online at

Join us on Sunday 3 July for an afternoon of fun and food at our Harefield Summer Picnic. Enjoy our beautiful grounds, meet other supporters of the hospitals and help raise funds to make them even better for patients. Special thanks to Robert Cooper for sponsoring the fizz at this event. l Sign up for the Harefield Summer Picnic at summer-picnic @rbhcharity /


London Bridges Walk

July 24, 2022

Walk with us this summer to treat and beat heart and lung disease.