Carl Portman

Carl's Page

Fundraising for Oxford Hospitals Charity
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Oxford Hospitals Charity

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RCN 1175809
We fund equipment, research and facilities to support patients across our hospitals



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I have a heart condition called Right Ventricular Dysplasia and I had to have an Implanted Cardioverter Device (ICD) fitted in my chest in 2009. This is a combination of a pacemaker and a defibrillator. For some, it's the end of the world but for me I want to show that despite having heart problems one can still use the power of the mind to overcome the psychological barriers that an ICD can generate.

This can be compounded if a shock is administered by the defibrillator. I have had a couple of shocks - including one on a ship in the arctic ocean - with no hospitals or doctors around - and 830 volts comes as a very big surprise when it occurs. A car battery is 16 volts and you jump back when you get a shock from that so imagine 830 volts, then think of a donkey kicking you in the chest. Still; it is there to keep me alive and do its job so it has to be seen as friend as well as foe!

For me and many others chess is a form of escape from the madness of life but a creative and positive one. I still have a place in the world, I still compete at a very tough level and I am very grateful that such a wonderful and ancient game (as well as some outstanding people) can help me though the bad times.

Having an ICD happens to people every day. They go into hospital and wake up with an ICD and BOOM, their life has changed. It is very expensive costing many thousands of pounds per procedure, and it requires precision and skill from the dedicated and professional team at the John Radcliffe Hospital led by the incomparable Dr. Tim Betts, supported by Arrhythmia specialist Elaine Watson who provides constant support to me and many others. They have looked after me brilliantly and I need to give something back. Any amount of money will help to purchase more equipment and undertake more operations.

It is rare for me to raise money like this but PLEASE give in the knowledge that you will make a difference to someone today, tomorrow and for the future. You really never know if that someone might be you one day. I sincerely hope not but giving money to our hospital in our county for our people is a tremendously important step.

I will be playing from 10am on 24th November to 10am on 25th November at the Castle Quay shopping Centre in Banbury. Local MP Sir Tony Baldry will open the event and there will be other things going on and lots of information about ICD's and the Oxford Team. Please do come along and say hello and witness quickplay chess (5 minutes each per game!) at its very best. You can even try your hand at playing me if you like ;-)

To my wife Susan who has held my hand through the very darkest of days and to all of you who care - thank you from the bottom of my heart.


About the charity

Oxford Hospitals Charity

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1175809
Oxford Hospitals Charity helps transform our local hospitals - the Oxford Children's Hospital, John Radcliffe, Horton General, Churchill and NOC - funding the latest medical equipment, research and facilities.Thank you so much for your amazing support. Find out more at

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £206.96 Gift Aid
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Offline donations

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