The sun was shining over Harefield as more than 900 people crossed the finish line at this year’s Harefield Hospital annual fun run on Sunday 9th September 2007.
Many of the participants were either former patients at the world-renowned Harefield Hospital or had turned up to raise money for the hospital’s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner appeal in memory of their loved ones.
Kev Lewis died from heart disease in March 2007. His nephew said, “We hired a coach to come here today and I think there’s about 70 of us running in total. We’re here to raise money for the hospital in Kev’s name. We’re also doing the run for my granddad who had a successful quadruple bypass at the hospital.”
Other fun runners enjoying the late summer weather included Jonathan Lepper who received a lung transplant at the hospital just two months ago and Mira Duarte, aged three, who is recovering from a heart procedure. Peter Williams’ family also braved the course to show their support for the hospital’s appeal. Peter recently had a successful heart transplant after being placed on the super-urgent organ donor list.
A local Harefield girl, Michaela Hutchison, 23, was the first to cross the finish line in an impressive 18 minutes and 13 seconds. Michaela, a legal secretary and semi-professional athlete specialising in 800m and 1500m distances said, “I’ve just finished the track season but really wanted to run today for the hospital. My mum works here in the cardiology department and my nan also used to work in the pharmacy.”
Winner of the children’s one mile race was 11 year old Charlie Nettleton, closely followed by Kieran Clarke, aged 13.
Jennifer Walton, fundraising director at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, said, “The turnout at this year’s event was incredible and, once again, I was thrilled to see so many dedicated and enthusiastic runners. The day was a huge success thanks to friends, family and staff. Last year we raised over £52,000 from entry fees and sponsorship alone and we hope to exceed that amount this year once all the sponsorship money has been collected.”
The fun run was held as part of an appeal to raise money to purchase a new MRI scanner. The hospital is aiming to raise £1.5 million to purchase this state of the art piece of equipment which will allow expert doctors to assess conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart failure and congenital heart disease more accurately. The new scanner will be able to produce high quality two or three dimensional and moving images of the heart and lungs. It will also help distinguish between live and dead heart tissue and show how well the heart muscles are contracting.
Jennifer Walton, added, “Thanks to the generosity of all of Sunday’s participants and helpers, we are a step closer to buying this important new scanner which will help us to provide even better care for our patients.”
Notes to editors
The following photographs are available upon request:
- Fun runners enjoying the sunshine.
- Jonathan Lepper taking part.
- Michaela Hutchison crossing the finish line.
- Peter Williams’ family taking part.
For further information contact:
Head of Media Relations
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust
Direct dial: 020 7351 8672
Mobile: 07866 536 345