Published: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Touching donation to the Golden Jubilee
Friends and relatives of a family of heart patients have donated more than £3,000 to the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.
The money was raised by Jenna Collin in memory of her best friend, Maisie Sullivan, a heart transplant patient who sadly passed away last year at age 24. Jenna was helped in her fundraising by Maisie’s family and friends.
When she was just 13 years old, Maisie was told that she would need a heart transplant. She had surgery within two weeks and was back at school and taking responsibility for her own medication just three months later.
At the time, her family were advised that Maisie’s condition was likely caused by a virus.
But in 2013 her brother, George, suddenly developed similar symptoms; he was referred to the Golden Jubilee and diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, a condition which was likely hereditary and may impact the entire family. George was successfully transplanted in 2013, with the Golden Jubilee taking over care of the family to monitor, treat and manage the condition.
Unfortunately, in November 2014 when she was working in London , Maisie began to feel breathless and was admitted to hospital for tests. Sadly, her health deteriorated rapidly, and she passed away just days later.
Elizabeth Sullivan, Maisie and George’s mother, said: “While all of this was happening to George, Maisie was going from strength to strength; she led a normal life all through high school and went on to graduate from university with honours in 2013. She had moved down to London after getting a job with a top estate agency, with management of her care being shared between a hospital down there and the Golden Jubilee. Before she became ill, she had actually just been promoted.”
Maisie’s friends and family decided to honour her memory by organising a fundraising event for the medical team that had done so much for Maisie, George and the entire family over the years.
Jenna Collin, Maisie's best friend, organised a black-tie race night at the Cruden Hall in Greenock.
Discussing the event, Jenna said: “I wanted to do something different, and no one had ever been to anything quite like it. We contacted local businesses and people from around the community to donate raffle prizes and auction items. We were even able to get signed Rangers and Celtic tops for auction at the night.
“Everyone loved Maisie, and knew what the family had been through, so when tickets went on sale we sold out 220 tickets in just a day and a half. We want to thank everyone who came along and all the local businesses who donated prizes for the raffle, and special thanks to Elaine at the Carnock Bar, Greenock and Kevin at the Chartroom Restaurant, Inverkip for sponsoring the races on the night.
The evening was an amazing success, with £3,300 being raised for the Golden Jubilee National Hospital’s heart failure services.
Professor Nawwar Al-Attar, Director of the Scottish National Heart Failure Service and Consultant Transplant Surgeon at the Golden Jubilee, commented: “This is an incredible gesture, and we cannot thank all of the Sullivan family, their local community, and particularly Jenna enough for their hard work. As the home of regional and national heart services for the NHS in Scotland, donations like this make a huge difference to the lives of patients, visitors and guests, helping us to provide the highest possible standard of care for everyone that comes through our doors.”