Donations in memory of Jan Denby fund cancer ward equipment
After Jan Denby passed away on September 12 2013, aged just 57, her family and friends donated an incredible £3,235 towards new equipment at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hedley Atkins Ward to honour her memory.
In 2011, Jan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after feeling unwell for a long time. She had a hysterectomy and went through several courses of chemotherapy, but sadly the treatments were not able to save her.
‘We were all so impressed with the care she got at Guy’s,’ says her sister, Karen Mountier. ‘The nurses were so caring. Jan was claustrophobic, so when she had to have a CT scan, they went out of their way to sedate her and make her comfortable.’
Before leaving the hospital, she recorded the name of every nurse and helper who had cared for her to make sure she could post a card thanking them all.
‘That was Jan,’ says Karen. ‘She made friends wherever she went – and the hospital was no different.’
After Karen had organised the funeral, donations flooded in from Jan’s many friends and relations, keen to remember their fun-loving, caring friend. The final total was an incredible £3,235.
Vital new equipment
Whilst at the hospital, Jan noticed that the ward needed some new equipment.
The donations have been put towards buying a new ECG machine, so more patients can continue to receive better care.
Sister Joanna Bate of the Hedley Atkins Ward says: ‘We have chosen to buy a new ECG machine, which is a very expensive piece of equipment which we usually wouldn’t be able to buy. These machines are a way of monitoring heart rhythms and are able to detect any abnormalities.’
Adam says, 'The ECG machine means we no longer need to borrow another machine from neighbouring wards and will give us easy access to equipment that can quickly and accurately assist in patient diagnosis and treatment.'
Through this gift left in memory of Jan, the hospital has also bought two Dinamap machines, which are used several times a day to monitor the vital signs of all patients on a ward. They are extremely accurate at measuring blood pressure and oxygen levels, even if the patient moves.
Adam Cass, senior staff nurse on the ward, tells us about the Dinamap machines.
'The observation machines have enabled us to have quick access to accurate vital signs for patients. Having an extra two on the unit means we are able to use them on multiple patients, and, given how acute the patients on Hedley tend to be, this has helped significantly in the diagnosis and management of very ill patients.'
‘Fundraising really matters’
Donations from supporters enable Guy’s and St Thomas’ to go above and beyond the call of duty. ECG machines and Dinamap machines improve the lives of patients every day by facilitating better care and allowing staff to respond more quickly to problems when they arise. The generosity of Janet, and her friends and family, has made all this possible.
‘We're so grateful for this incredibly generous donation,’ says Sister Joanna. ‘Fundraising really matters as it helps us buy things that make a real difference to our patients. It’s often the little things that count.’
'The new equipment is fantastic,' says Adam. 'It replaces older equipment which means that the overall patient experience is much improved. The family’s generosity is hugely appreciated by both staff and patients alike.'
Jan's brother Chris recently made a further donation to the Hedley Atkin's Ward in memory of his sister which was matched by his employer, raising almost £600.