Nearly a quarter of a million pounds has been donated to Darent Valley Hospital by a man who was treated for cancer there.
The Dartford man, whose family wishes to remain anonymous, left his life savings to the hospital in appreciation of the care he received over the five years he was treated.
His widow said she was delighted to carry out his request to donate £231,376.61 to benefit the Cancer Fighting Fund to buy new medical equipment.
She said: “He was so appreciative of his care over the years which gave him extra years of good quality life.
“Every doctor and nurse involved in his care did everything they possibly could for him. We were so impressed with how they consulted and dealt with him every step of the way - nothing was ever too much trouble.
“I have every faith that the money will be spent wisely to help our excellent hospital treat others with this dreadful disease.”
Fundraising Manager Tracey Cummins said the charity board met his widow to personally thank her for the generous gift.
She said: “This will make a tremendous difference and will help save lives. The money will enable the purchase of a second Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) and a Pleural Ultrasound machine to benefit lung cancer patients.”
Patients treated by the EBUS is a non-invasive procedure which can be completed within an hour.
Before, a patient would have to go up to London after a two to three week wait, or undergo a mediastinoscopy which is an invasive surgical procedure done under general anaesthesia and only in regional Thoracic Surgical Centres like London.
Dr Burhan Khan, Respiratory Consultant said: “We have previously benefitted from support from the Darent Valley Hospital Cancer Fighting Fund which has enabled us to introduce a Magic Eye, which is a Medical Thoracoscope to surgically drain fluid and at the same time enable us to examine the outside of the lung and take biopsies as well as pleurodesis, which helps prevent fluid from recurring.
“We have also been able to order a highly specialised Pleural Ultrasound machine which will be a tremendous benefit to our patients and go a long way to relieve their unpleasant and quite distressing symptoms.”
“Because of support given to the hospital’s charity fund to purchase the Magic Eye we have been able to develop our Lung service further and have since introduced an EBUS scope which looks from inside the lung and windpipe to see if any lymph nodes are showing cancer or not.”
Darent Valley is one of a few select specialist units in the entire country that can provide these services to patients.