Alexandra Williams

Alexandra's 10th Anniversary thank you walk February 13th 2022

Fundraising for Oxford Hospitals Charity
raised of £32,000 target
by 321 supporters
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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


February 12th 2022 sees the 10th anniversary of Nick's life saving operation for his dissected aorta at the Oxford Heart Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Not a week goes by when I don't think about the incredible team who saved him. It has a high mortality rate and is often sadly misdiagnosed. In the words of the surgeon who operated on him, most people in his situation never make it to the operating table. But this is about joy, happiness and success. I wanted to mark the anniversary to say thank you to the team who looked after him, from our lovely GP (now sadly not with us) to the 999 call handler to the surgeon, anaesthetist, cardiologists, nursing staff, cleaners, cooks and everyone who helped us as a family through the three weeks he was in hospital for. During Covid we locked down hard as I wanted to keep him safe and not waste the good work the heart team had done. This walk will be a rough tracing of the route the ambulance took from our front door near Banbury to the hospital A&E entrance in Oxford. It's a walking marathon which will take me 6 months to prepare for and at least 8 hours of walking.

The Heart Centre has been transformed and this is what you helped raise money for back in 2013. Back then we raised £78,550. If I could get the figure to £100,000 then that would be incredible but it's a long shot!

My plan is to raise funds for the monitoring equipment to support a new anaesthetic machine for the department. This is expected to cost just under £17,000. Some 3,000 patients a year will benefit from this new equipment, as will the busy hospital teams involved in their care.  (As my fund-raising has gone above this figure I will keep everyone updated via this page on what equipment we will be buying for the unit).

There has been a steady increase in the number of patients needing a cardioversion in recent years. Cardioversion is a controlled electric shock to the heart using a defibrillator, given to patients under a short-acting general anaesthetic. Until now, the team conducting cardioversions have shared their anaesthetic equipment with others in the Cath Labs in the Oxford Heart Centre. Cath Labs are like operating theatres where investigative tests such as coronary angiograms or cardiac catheterisation are carried out. Due to the ever growing demand for cardioversion, the team would massively benefit from having their own equipment specifically for these patients. This will save the time of moving equipment from one area to another, allowing more patients to be treated at any one moment and thereby helping to reduce waiting times. 

In relation to the echocardiography unit which we helped fundraise for in 2013, this is how it was described by the architects Gray Baynes and Shew at the time: New £ 1.5 million refurbishment of vacant ward to provide a new echocardiology facility at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.The new unit is located behind the Oxford Heart Centre and comprises 10 consulting rooms, 7 echocardiology rooms, several offices, a meeting room and a reporting room. Three of the consulting rooms are oversized and are therefore capable of hosting several family members during discussions on patient care. The facility also offers a new reception and a large welcoming waiting room. This area features an exciting ceiling design, curved walls, vibrant colour scheme and comfortable seating for 52 people. The project was completed in September 2014.

Dr Saul Myerson, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for Cardiac Imaging - "It is fair to say that this new unit has totally transformed the way we work and the benefits to patients have been huge. In the past, patients having an ECG, echo scan and a clinic appointment would have to trek between three different departments spread across the JR. The simple act of bringing all the clinical expertise together in a dedicated space and creating one large central waiting area, alongside a more flexible and thought-through clinical approach, has halved the amount of time our average patient has to spend in hospital. Added to this we have seen a huge improvement in our staff recruitment and retention. Thank you to each and every generous person who helped to make this possible.”

That last sentence is for everyone who helped me last time.

From the hospital :- Your support will make a difference to patients and staff across our local hospitals. Thank you so much for taking on a challenge to raise funds - with your help we are able to transform our hospitals, creating warm and welcoming environments for patients young and old, equipped with the latest specialist medical equipment. We also fund research and improvements for our hospital staff, including specialist training.Thank you so much for supporting Oxford Hospitals Charity

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

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+ £6,967.75 Gift Aid
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