Above and Beyond, the local charity fundraising for Bristol city centre hospitals, has raised over £25,000 for specialist cancer treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary as part of its Golden Gift Appeal.

Donors and supporters from across the South West have helped Above and Beyond to raise an incredible £25,000 in six months for a new microwave ablation machine – a vital piece of life-saving cancer treatment equipment that reduces the amount of time patients spend in hospital.

Microwave ablation is a relatively quick and minimally invasive way of ‘zapping’ a cancerous tumour through the use of microwaves. The machine has a metal probe which is directed into the tumour through an incision in the side of the body using an ultrasound.

Above and Beyond

The technology has pin-point accuracy and is often a patient’s only option to continue their cancer treatment, particularly if they have already endured surgery or chemo or radio therapy.

Previously, the radiology department had to loan a machine to pilot this treatment on a small number of patients, such as 78-year-old John. John was diagnosed with primary liver cancer in 2016 when an MRI scan showed two small tumours.

After discussing the best course of treatment with consultants, John chose to have the new microwave ablation procedure. This method of treatment eliminates the need for patients to undergo open surgery and ensures they can be back in the comfort of their own home the following day.

Above and Beyond

Now, thanks to generosity of the public, the radiology department is able to purchase a new microwave ablation machine of its own.

“We’re absolutely delighted”, said Dr Mark Callaway, consultant radiologist at the BRI “It’ll make a huge difference to our patients as we’ll be able to treat certain tumours without the need to conduct open surgery. It’s amazing that patients are able to be back home the next day rather than spending a week in hospital.

“Thank you so much to everyone who donated to this crucial piece of equipment.”   

The £25,000 microwave ablation target was part of Above and Beyond’s Golden Gift Appeal which launched in 2013 to raise £6m to transform Bristol Royal Infirmary and Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

It has already provided the region’s first adult Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, a world-class monitoring system in the Intensive Care Unit, new patient information systems in A&E, artwork in the hospitals to stimulate mobility and conversation, and free Wi-Fi so patients can keep in touch with their loved ones more easily.

Sarah Talbot-Williams, CEO of charity Above and Beyond, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has donated to the Golden Gift Appeal to help fund a number of life-changing projects across our hospitals, including the new microwave ablation machine.

“It’s been truly wonderful to see the Bristol community come together to support our hospitals through this appeal – our biggest one ever! £6m was a big ask of all of our donors, supporters and fundraisers but I’m pleased to say, that thanks to the generosity of the public, we are very nearly there.”

To find out more about the work Above and Beyond do for Bristol’s hospitals, visit aboveandbeyond.org.uk