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Staff member who lost father to coronavirus raises money for new ventilator for Southmead in his memory

By 23rd April 2021No Comments
Philippa (right) hands over the cheque to Hannah Jones from the charity.

Philippa Carey, who works for Sirona as an administrator, was only allowed to say goodbye to her father over Facetime when he passed away from coronavirus.

Steve Gay from Hanham in Bristol, died on 12 May 2020, after five weeks on the Intensive Care Unit at North Bristol NHS Trust.

His family say he was a healthy man with no underlying health conditions but were told by doctors he had one of the worst cases of the virus they’d seen. 

Since losing Steve, his loved ones have been determined to raise money through donations from the public to help provide a piece of life-saving equipment for other patients admitted to the same unit, where he spent the last few weeks of his life.

In March 2021, Steve would have celebrated his 65th birthday.

In a socially distanced and emotive ceremony, his children were able to return to North Bristol NHS Trust to hand over a £7,250 cheque to Southmead Hospital Charity, which supports patients, staff and families at the Trust’s hospitals.

Philippa said her father would be so proud of them:

“We are so grateful to all the staff at Southmead Hospital who cared for our dad during the last few weeks of his life and this is our small way of saying thank you.

“Our dad was the life and soul of the party and we miss him every single day however, fundraising in his memory has given us something to focus on whilst we continue to grieve and we know he would have been so proud of us.”

The money donated in Steve’s memory will help provide an MRI-compatible ventilator that will make it easier for patients in an induced coma to have an MRI scan.

Hannah Jones from Southmead Hospital Charity said:

“We know that coming back was difficult for Philippa and her family. The generosity shown by those who knew and loved Steve is inspiring, and will create a powerful, lasting legacy for their beloved dad, helping many critically ill patients and the staff caring for them for years to come.”