21 October 2009

 We're off!

The Forsight Appeal was officially launched at Arrowe Park Hospital in October over two event-packed days.

The first main item on the Appeal’s shopping list is a £150,000 EYESi simulator (read all about it here), the first for the northwest of England.

Throughout the two days of the launch one of these state-of-the-art surgical simulators was in the hospital so that Wirral’s eye team, colleagues from around the region, junior medics, sixth form students and VIP guests could try it for themselves.

On the first day of the launch, Wednesday October 14, it was the medics’ turn on the EYESi, experiencing for the first time the ability to practise complex eye surgery in an entirely virtual and safe environment. Without exception, their reaction was an enthusiastic ‘Fantastic! How soon can we get one?’

On Wednesday evening, the Appeal was officially launched at a reception for medics, eye department patients, local schools, and dignatories. Special guests included Lady Jean Stoddart, the charity's long standing Patron who attended with Trustees of the charity; Steve Maddox, Chief Executive of Wirral Council, who immediately promised to walk the next Coastal Walk in aid of the Appeal; local elected members; representatives from businesses which have already pledged support, including Ian Mackay from C3 Imaging of Liverpool which has been hugely generous in donating all the appeal posters, leaflets and publicity items. Other VIP guests included representatives of the Hospital’s management team and the PCT, local optometrists, Mike McCartney, Wirral’s cultural Ambassador; and Geoff Dale, General Manager of Thornton Hall Hotel, which has nominated Forsight Appeal as one of the hotel’s main charities.

The second day, Thursday October 15, was devoted to would-be medics in Wirral’s sixth forms who streamed into the hospital throughout the day to try their hands at eye surgery on the EYESi. Mr Mark Watts, a senior consultant in the Wirral eye team and the training lead on EYESIs for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, generously spent the morning meeting and coaching the pupils on the machine –wonderful experience for the students.

The Appeal team sincerely thanks the Hospital, for hosting the two days, and the team from Stat One Services Ltd who loaned the Appeal an EYESi for the launch.

And what a great start we have had!