Dancers help hospital

CRITICALLY ill patients will be more comfortable during their hospital stay thanks to the efforts of a Byfleet-based dance school.

Susan Robinson School of Ballet raised £12,000 for a special intensive care unit bed at Royal Surrey County Hospital.

BED BOOST- Cedric Jones (centre) and Susan Robinson School of Ballet dancers Millie, 11, and Elliott, 13, with Ced’s Bed and medical staff at the Royal Surrey

The money is the proceeds of a gala production in aid of the hospital’s official charity staged by the school last year.

Susan Robinson Jones, from Byfleet, who set up the school 40 years ago, chose to support the charity after her husband, Cedric Jones, was successfully treated for cancer of the oesophagus at the hospital in 2016.

It was while Cedric recovered in the intensive care unit that the couple realised the specialist beds that helped his recovery were limited due to costing £12,000 each.

With the support of the people involved in the ballet school, Susan was determined to raise the money to buy a specialist bed for the hospital. The new bed has been named Ced’s Bed.

More than 120 dancers aged three to 18 were involved in five performances of the variety show, Reverence, at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking last April. The money was raised through ticket proceeds, a raffle and cakes sales.

“When Cedric was diagnosed, it was an incredibly tough time for us,” said Susan. But everyone we met along the way, from the surgeons to the nutrition nurses, were so positive. They have given us our lives back and we are very grateful for that.

“We wanted to do something that would make a difference to people going through what Cedric went through. If we can make that whole experience a little more comfortable, it’s worth it.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we received and want to thank everyone who came along to the gala and gave so generously.”

The hospital’s matron of critical care, Sue Herson, commented: “The beds allow for patients to be in the correct position at the early stages of recovery. This reduces complications to patients when ventilated, as well as allowing a good upright seated position for physiotherapy.

“The beds also allow patients to stand upright from the foot end of the bed, allowing them to stand and move at an earlier recovery stage. Rolling on their side to get out of bed, causes less stress, pain and discomfort.”

The Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity funds projects that provide life-saving equipment, redevelop wards, invest in staff development and fund innovative research. Find out more at www.rschcharity.org.uk or call 01483 464146.

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