Irishman raises almost £8,000 to thank Freeman Hospital

Thomas McManus

A man from Northern Ireland has raised almost £8,000 for the Freeman Hospital to thank staff for saving his life.

In June 2015, Thomas McManus was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after he collapsed and had to be resuscitated at his family home in Downpatrick on the morning of his sister Lisa’s graduation. Two days later he suffered a cardiac arrest and was diagnosed with severe heart failure, the impact of which caused his liver and kidneys to fail.

Thomas was told that his heart was in such bad shape there was nothing more that could be done locally and that his only option was to be transferred to the specialist Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Thomas McManus presents cheque to Staff Nurse Rachel Carr, VAD Specialist Nurse Andrew Wood, Staff Nurse Jonathan Stokel, Sister Deborah Perry, Matron Lisa Guthrie, Staff Nurse Suzie Crumpton and VAD Nurse Practitioner Nicola Robinson Smith.

Thomas was moved to the Adult Transplant Unit (Ward 38) where he then underwent successful open heart surgery in order to insert the device, a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD).

The VAD acts as a mechanical pump that supports the role of supplying blood to the body in order to take pressure off the heart. The Freeman is one of six centres that implant VADs in the UK and the only centre which currently performs the VAD procedure on patients with adult congenital heart disease.

A fundraising event held by Thomas at a cinema in Northern Ireland has raised over £7,800 for four funds within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity to thank staff from three wards and a specialist Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) team at the Freeman Hospital for saving the life of Thomas McManus from County Down.