Family and friends help to raise £2,000 for hospital heart appeal

Pictured from left to right are Marilyn Gooby, Anthony Tatum, Sharon Paxton, Tracy Tatum, Sally Dani

Pictured from left to right are Marilyn Gooby, Anthony Tatum, Sharon Paxton, Tracy Tatum, Sally Daniels, Andy Paxton and Vicky Paxton. Picture: MY WISH CHARITY - Credit: Archant

Bingo sessions held in Great Cornard have helped to raise thousands of pounds for the My WiSH Charity

They have been spearheaded by Tracy Tatum, who along with family and friends, have raised an amazing £5,000 in just three years with £2,000 being raised for the Every Heart Matters appeal.

The rest of the money has gone to the Macmillan Unit at the West Suffolk Hospital and the charity’s Love Your Nodes appeal.

Tracy, who lives in Second Avenue, in Sudbury, runs the once-a-month sessions at Old Wells School with between 30 to 45 people attending.

And the 53-year-old craft maker and support worker at The Dell Care Home, in Great Cornard, gets help with the sessions from her husband Anthony, sister-in-law and brother Sharon and Andy Paxton, daughters Vicky and Samantha and family friend Marilyn Gooby.

It has turned into a real close knit family tradition and one which has helped to boost the My WiSH Charity.

Sessions take place on the last Saturday in the month and Tracy explained that she started the fundraising after contracting breast cancer four years ago.

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That’s what prompted her to start raising money for My WiSH, which supports the hospital in Bury St Edmunds, and she also said she lost her brother Ian Wood after he suffered a heart attack six years ago when he was 55.

She said: “It’s good to have a local cardiac unit at the hospital which will help people not having to travel further afield and will be a real asset.”

Sally Daniels, appeal manager, said: “Tracy and her family and friends are putting on such a great event for the community. They have not only raised an incredible amount of money but have given people the opportunity to get together and enjoy a sociable evening rather than being at home on their own which is just fantastic.”

The appeal reached its target of £500,000 in December which has enabled the hospital to create a specialist heart diagnosis unit and bring the heart department together on one floor.

Activity in the cardiology department has been increasing year on year, with a significant increase in patient demand in the last five years.

However, a proportion of patients with heart conditions in west Suffolk have to be treated elsewhere for a range of cardiac services that are currently not available at West Suffolk.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust invested £5.2m in developing the state-of-the-art cardiac suite that provides quicker access to more treatments for the local community and the appeal was aimed at supporting a fully integrated cardiac centre that will enhance the treatment of cardiac patients.

It will allow diagnostic tests, checks and follow up to happen all in one place and means that patients will not need to visit other departments or repeatedly dress and undress for tests and scans.

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