More backing for heart campaign

CONCERNED elderly residents at a Felixstowe retirement home today said they are frightened at plans to move vital life-saving cardiac care away from Ipswich Hospital.

CONCERNED elderly residents at a Felixstowe retirement home today said they are frightened at plans to move vital life-saving cardiac care away from Ipswich Hospital.

Pensioners at Homeorr House in Felix Road have donated �100 to the Evening Star's 'Have a Heart' Appeal, which has so far raised more than �10,000 to help fund a specialist heart attack centre at Ipswich Hospital.

Residents have attended several meetings hosted by John Gummer MP for Suffolk Coastal, outlining the proposals to move vital cardiac care away from Ipswich Hospital.

Joan Richardson, treasurer of the social club, said she organised the collection after experiencing first hand the nightmare of travelling to and from Papworth Hospital to visit her husband John, 82, for three weeks after his quadruple heart bypass.


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The 74-year-old said the majority of residents at Homeorr House have heart problems and rely on services at Ipswich Hospital after the closure of The Bartlett Hospital.

“It is not too bad when John is at Ipswich because I can get a bus back home, but if you are whisked off to Papworth, Norwich or Basildon in the rush and panic of leaving you can't remember everything you need and travelling there and back can be very difficult if like me you can't drive.

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“It is very frightening for residents here, the prospect of not being able to go to Ipswich Hospital is awful, the alternative is so far away. Everybody here is very upset.”

She added: “We are just grateful the Evening Star picked this issue up and has kept on going with it, otherwise we would not have a voice at all.”

The Evening Star has been campaigning for a primary angioplasty centre to be set up in Ipswich so residents have the best level of care possible and don't face long journeys for treatment.

The money raised will help set up a catheter laboratory at Heath Road.

The Star is asking for just one pound from every person who may need care at Ipswich Hospital's cardiac department in the future - which would collect around �350,000

The lab will originally be used to treat non-urgent heart operations but could eventually be expanded into a primary angioplasty centre.

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