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Former cardiac patient says a huge thank you by gifting 90th birthday present to Morriston

A group of medical staff, fund raisers and a family pictured with hospital equipment following a donation

A former Morriston Hospital cardiac patient chose a birthday he thought he might never see as the perfect opportunity to say a huge thank you by raising more than £3,000 for much-needed equipment.

Jim Jones, aged 94, had an aortic valve replacement in April 2019. He was so overwhelmed to be handed a new lease of life, he decided to forgo presents for his 90th birthday.

Instead he asked for donations to be made to Morriston’s cardiac unit. Jim, from Nantgaredig in Carmarthenshire, saw his act of generosity raise an impressive £3,400.

This was topped up by the hospital’s League of Friends - a charitable organisation that has been fundraising for Morriston for 80 years - in order to purchase six new wireless telemetry monitors for the unit.

An elderly gentleman, pictured sitting outside a hospital with an item of medical equipment

The monitors, which are not much bigger than a mobile phone, record a patient’s vital signs on the move. This means they are not restricted to bed and medics can keep a close eye on them remotely. Jim is pictured holding one of the monitors, right.

The loss and wear and tear of previous telemetry monitors means the six new arrivals will have a big, positive impact on patients’ ability to get up and about, with the reassurance that staff are following their progress closely.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been for the staff at the cardiac unit,” said Jim, who is well-known in his local area for his family business, Jones Televisions.

“So when I was approaching my 90th birthday, I thought to myself what does a man of 90 need as a present?

“I really couldn’t think of anything, to be honest. So it was obvious to me that all I wanted was to give something back for the way I was looked after.

“And I’m pleased that we raised a decent sum and it’s now gone towards some equipment which is going to make a difference to people who are going through similar experiences to the ones that I went through.

“I’m feeling quite well for 94, I’m not too bad at all. I cannot thank everyone at Morriston enough for giving me the years I’ve enjoyed since my surgery.”

Cardiac ITU matron Ross Phillips, who was among staff taking delivery of the consignment of monitors, explained that the new kit will provide major benefits.

“The wireless monitors will give our patients much more freedom and independence than many of them have at present, which is absolutely brilliant,” he said.

“When the circumstances allow they’ll be able to get up on their feet, have a walk around and have a change of scene.

“At the moment monitoring equipment is just too cumbersome for them to be able to do that, so we are so grateful to Jim and the League of Friends for providing these monitors.”

Being able to move around the hospital in a supervised manner is not only about providing a degree of freedom - it can also help reduce the worst impacts of deconditioning.

This is caused when patients are largely confined to bed and therefore lose strength through inactivity. It often leads to longer stays in hospital, a slower recovery and potentially poorer outcomes.

Chairs and a desk, designed for children, in a newly decorated, colourful room

In addition to the monitors for the cardiac unit, Morriston Hospital League of Friends has also made a number of other recent donations through its own fundraising activities.

These include providing funds to kit out and decorate a room where emotional and practical support can be provided for children and their families in the hospital’s burns and plastics unit (see the picture, inset).

The LoF has also donated a new set of specialist stirrups used when treating burns injuries.

And the Emergency Department has also taken delivery of 10 new equipment trollies, costing approximately £5,000.









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