Registered charity in England No 1144451
Meetings held at Steeple View Memorial Hall, Willowfields, Laindon, Basildon, Essex, SS15 4EQ                                       click for map
Basildon & District Heart Support Group
A self-help group that helps patients and carers face the future
Affiliated to the British Heart Foundation
Steve Brown and Jim Roberts (left and 2nd left) with staff at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre

Patients recovering after surgery at The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) are benefiting from new equipment that will enhance their care, donated by Basildon and District Hearts and Minds. The charity, founded and run by people with heart disease, works to raise awareness and provide support for others with the same condition.
Jim Roberts, chair of Hearts and Minds, and Steve Brown, committee member, presented two portable suction units, worth £1,500 each, to Chelmer ward.

Liz Shaughnessy, ward manager, said: “There will sometimes be a hole in the lung following cardiac and thoracic surgery, causing air leaks that can last two to three weeks.The suction pumps draw the leaked air away.

“We have fixed suction pumps at the bedside, but the portable units enable patients to get moving more quickly after their operations. This is hugely beneficial for their recovery for several reasons – mobilising helps to prevent blood clots and also makes patients breathe more deeply and expand their lungs. And for patients who require
suction, it is restricting and can be depressing if they have to stay in their room for that time.”

Since Basildon Hearts and Minds was launched ten years ago, they have donated a total of £70,000 to the specialist heart and lung centre at Basildon Hospital. The money has additional equipment for patients, including exercise machines for the cardiac rehabilitation gym.
Steve Brown said: “I became involved with the group seven years ago after I had a cardiac arrest. You meet so many people who have gone through same thing and you realise you are not on your own.

“Like many others in Hearts and Minds I had excellent treatment at the CTC and we are keen to do all we can to help other patients.”

Portable Suction Units
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