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Two Local Residents Make Invaluable Donation to Local Hospital

Newdate: 22 March 2016COPD Unit

Two local residents made a superbly generous donation of 26 nebulisers to the COPD Unit, at Wigan Infirmary, on Friday 18 March. Nebulisers are essential equipment for patients suffering from COPD, as they are used to deliver medication that can ease breathlessness.

COPD is a common lung disease that obstructs the airways, making breathing more difficult. It is usually caused by either smoking or exposure to fumes and dusty places. The symptoms of COPD can be reduced in severity, but it cannot be cured. The earlier the disease is detected, the more effective the treatment will be.

The condition is a real issue in the Borough of Wigan. Indeed, in 2015 there were 3772 Wigan CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) residents admitted as an emergency with COPD at Wigan Infirmary.

David and Eileen Wharton, from Hindley, were able to make the incredible donation after they had organised a hugely successful charity event earlier in the year. The event, held at St Jude’s Catholic Club, raised the princely sum of £1,900, which was enough to purchase 25 nebulisers. Local company Evergreen Nebulisers, who provided the equipment, donated an extra machine for free. St Jude’s allowed use of the club’s facilities, free of charge. 

Money was raised at the event through ticket sales, a raffle, tombola and donations made by individuals on the day. Prizes were donated to the raffle by a string of local shopping outlets including; Pets at Home, Waitrose, Tesco (Hindley) and Dawson’s Bakery. In addition, Wigan Athletic very generously donated two free tickets to one of their matches. Other prizes included an Uncle Joe’s Mintballs gift pack, 6 bottles of wine and a bottle of whisky.

Much support on the night came from people who knew the Wharton’s personally and also from the wider community.

The idea for the event was formulated at a COPD support group that is held at Hindley Tesco Supermarket on the last Wednesday of every month, in the Community Room. The free group offers the chance for visitors to come along to enjoy a cup of coffee, have a friendly chat and receive helpful advice on living with COPD. The event is supported by two of WWL’s nursing staff, as Lead Specialist COPD Nurse, Joanne Wright, and Specialist Asthma Nurse, Sandra Dermott, are both on hand to offer their advice to members of the group.

David, who has been a patient at WWL with COPD, is delighted to be able to give something back to the hospital.

He said, “We feel very privileged that we got to come up with the idea and got to go through with it, thanks to support from the nursing staff.”

Eileen adds, “It was our suggestion but you cannot do it by yourself and the support has been tremendous.”

David also was keen to stress how much making the donation meant to him personally, given that he knows how hard it is to live with COPD: “It is important to me as I was a patient here. I’ve come along to the unit and they’ve supported me when I’ve been here. I know if need be, I’ve got the back-up required.”

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Trust, Joanne Wright was full of praise for the couple and extremely grateful to receive the generous offerings.

She said, “I am hugely thankful to both David and Eileen for their incredible generosity and this equipment will be a huge help to nursing staff here at the COPD Unit. Respiratory disease is a key problem in Wigan but sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. The COPD service strives to provide top quality care for our patients and these new machines will definitely enable us to do that.”

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