Cash boost brings heart treatment closer

An appeal that aims to revolutionise heart treatment at Norfolk's flagship hospital was given another cash boost. The Balloons4Hearts appeal, the driving force of the formidable rowing team that crossed the North Sea last month, received two cheques totalling £12,500.

An appeal that aims to revolutionise heart treatment at Norfolk's flagship hospital was given another cash boost yesterday.

The Balloons4Hearts appeal, the driving force of the formidable rowing team that crossed the North Sea last month, received two cheques totalling £12,500.

The Global Clinic, which sponsored the boat led by consultant interventional cardiologist Dr Liam Hughes, gave £4,000, while John Coxford, of Aylsham, raised £8,500 by holding a lunch in a large marquee in his back garden.

Mr Coxford and his family are loyal supporters of the appeal and have so far raised about £14,000.

Dr Hughes said: “The money is going to provide a theatre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital which will mean we are in the position to treat all people with blocked coronary arteries who require treatment here in Norwich rather than having to travel to Papworth, which will make a huge difference.”

The rowing crew spent three days and two nights at sea and travelled over 140 miles of unpredictable water from the Hook of Holland to Southwold and have raised in excess of £100,000.

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The appeal has now reached a total of £850,000 in 10 months and is within touching distance of its provisional target of £1m.

Businesses interested in sponsoring Dr Hughes's next mission, a row across the Atlantic, probably in December, are invited to contact him at the hospital.

Donations to Balloons4Hearts can be made via www.justgiving.co.uk, quoting registered charity number 1042644; or send a cheque payable to Norfolk Hearts Trust (balloons4hearts) to 215, Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PH.

A coffee morning and bring and buy sale in aid if Balloons4Hearts takes place at Thorpe End Village Hall from 10.30am on Thursday. Admission is £2, including scones and coffee.

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