Support floods in for petition

SIGNATURES are today beginning to flood in for The Evening Star's Save Our Angels petition, showing a community united in its determination to fight devastating cuts at Ipswich Hospital.

SIGNATURES are today beginning to flood in for The Evening Star's Save Our Angels petition, showing a community united in its determination to fight devastating cuts at Ipswich Hospital.

The campaign was launched yesterday in a bid to save the specialist nurses, and other nursing staff, whose jobs are under threat at the cash-strapped hospital.

Bosses want to get rid of up to 40 of the hospital's specialist nurses as they battle to claw back debts of more than £24m, but the Star's campaign is urging them to think again before making the cuts.

We took the campaign on to the streets of Ipswich yesterday morning and more than 40 people have already pledged their support.


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Among the first to sign was Sheila Cooper of the Ipswich Epilepsy Support Group.

Mrs Cooper's son Mark died seven years ago from a condition known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy at the age of just 28.

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He was supported throughout his life by the hospital's specialist epilepsy nurse and Mrs Cooper, 60, of Bourne Hill, Wherstead, said she is determined to fight for the post.

She said: “Mark was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 18 months old and the support we received from the specialist nurse was tremendous, as was the care from all the other nurses at the hospital.

“He carried on having seizures until he was about eight and then started having them again when he was going through puberty.

“As you can imagine, it was an awful lot for him to deal with at that age and the support the specialist nurse gave us was brilliant.”

Mark died suddenly in August 1999 but Mrs Cooper has continued to work with the epilepsy support group to help other families affected by the condition.

She said: “Hundreds of people are diagnosed every year and to have no support when you are going through something like that would be horrendous.

“These cuts could lead to lots of people becoming very worried and their conditions becoming worse - which will lead to more people back in hospital and cost them even more money.”

“I'm 100 per cent behind this petition. We've got to save this post and all the other specialist nurses.”

We want to hear your stories. Tell us why the nurses mean so much to you by writing to Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mailing eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

To show your support for the campaign fill in the coupon on this page and send it back to us or log on to www.eveningstar.co.uk/angels

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