AN IPSLEY man who suffers from a rare medical condition has donated a £4,500 cough machine to the town’s hospital.
Bill Roberts started the Cough Up a Pound for CoughAssist appeal after being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (MG) which affects the muscles that control the breathing.
In 2008 he was rushed to the Alexandra Hospital with a chest infection, but his condition made it impossible to cough and clear his airways so staff had to intervene to help him breathe.
The 68-year-old said the ordeal was very frightening and he wanted to give something back to the workers and the community by raising funds for the equipment which clears excess mucus from airways by mimicking a real cough.
The former Master of the Freemasons Doric Lodge enlisted the help of friends from his MG support group and Worcestershire and Warwickshire Freemasons’ lodges for donations toward the machine.
He said: “Being there and having that experience of choking, I know how frightening it is and this machine will be indispensable to people.
“I know the staff are over the moon and I’m so pleased people will be able to access it not only in Worcestershire but Warwickshire too.”
Lynn Dale, respiratory matron at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “As these machines aren’t classed as an essential item, there’s no funding for them in the NHS.
“It’s such a great bit of kit, it will really help our patients who have trouble coughing due to their respiratory conditions. We’re so grateful to Bill and everyone who’s donated to this cause.”
John Hayward, provincial charity steward for Warwickshire Freemasons added: “We were pleased to assist with such a worthy cause. We are confident that this donation will benefit to the hospital and its patients.”
Bill Roberts and Sheila Roberts hand over the CoughAssist machine to Alex staff Amy O’Hare, Amy Hawkins, Lynn Dale and Joanna Richards. Photo by Marcus Mingins 1615023MMR
Labour’s Rebecca Blake and Minister Andy Gwynne 1715003R