'Specialist scanner will help save lives'
CHARITY supporters have helped a hospital reach its £250,000 fund-raising target to pay for life-saving equipment.
The University Hospital of North Staffordshire now has the cash in place to is buy a PET/CT Scanner.
It launched the appeal last July to help meet the £3 million cost of purchasing the vital equipment and having it installed.
Now the NHS has thanked the groups and individuals who came forward to make donations.
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Steve Rushton, the hospital's charity manager, said: "The response from the public since we launched our appeal has been truly amazing.
"We have been inundated by people wanting to hold events in aid of the appeal which shows how much this hospital means to the community.
"Having something like this scanner will truly put the hospital on the map."
Although the target has been reached, the hospital has urged any fund-raisers still set to stage an event to still donate the takings.
Mr Rushton added: "If we get to the stage where we find there is additional money past the target then that will be used for future appeals such as purchasing another scanner."
The appeal was aimed at encouraging 500 groups or individuals to raise £500 to meet the target.
Now the hospital plans to recognise those who took part in the 500-500 initiative.
Mr Rushton added: "We plan to recognise each of the donors as we are so appreciative of everybody's efforts.
"We are considering a scheme to incorporate all of their names within a piece of artwork which will be set up in the department where the scanner will be housed.
"We are also looking to organise an open day where everyone who has been involved in helping us to reach this fantastic amount will be given the opportunity to come and see the equipment and meet the medics who will be using it."
Among those who supported the appeal included dedicated fund-raiser Ron Alcock, who gave £1,000 of his own money to help the cause.
The 74-year-old, of Cheadle, also helped raise £200,000 to help fund a body scanner in the early 1980s.
Ron, whose wife Jeannette died of leukaemia in 2009 aged 68, said: "I wanted to help as I have seen the way that cancer affects people's lives.
"My father Thomas, and Jeannette's mother, Hilda, both passed away because of cancer. Hopefully this piece of equipment will help to save many lives."
Fund-raiser Sue Cunningham raised £700 by holding a fun day at Norton Working Men's Club.
The 32-year-old mother-of-three, from Norton, whose mother Lyn was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, said: "I am so pleased they have raised the money. This shows how fantastic the people of Stoke-on-Trent are when it comes to helping."
The scanner will be used to diagnose different diseases, as well as for finding out how an existing condition is developing. It will also be used to see how effective treatment is.