Legacy helps Respiratory team buy new equipment

Part of a legacy donation of £81,000, bequeathed by Nick Fuller, has enabled our Respiratory team to purchase three non-invasive medical ventilation systems with internal back-up battery and non-invasive C02 monitors (transcutaneous CO2 monitors), allowing blood gas levels to be read without blood samples, which can be both stressful and time-consuming for the patient.

Nick, who had muscular dystrophy, sadly passed away in 2020 after 17 years of care at the hospital, and his generous legacy to N&N Hospitals Charity will help to improve the quality of life for other muscular dystrophy patients.

Nick worked for the Ministry of Defence and served in Germany at the same time his father George was there serving in the Royal Air Force. On their return to the UK, Nick was stationed at an RAF base in Cambridgeshire.

Philippe Grunstein, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, grew to know Nick well while leading his care and they formed a close bond. “Nick was the most inspirational person I ever met during my career and I will never forget him,” he said. “He always had a smile, cracked jokes and never complained, even though he came near to death on more than one occasion. He kept working right to the very end.”

Prasanna Sankaran, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, added: “Each machine will benefit 50-60 people a year. Without Nick’s legacy, we would not have this equipment, which is the Ferrari of monitors. They will make a massive difference to patients by improving their quality of life and, because they are mobile, will enable them to live a more active life.”

They will also allow our specialist physiotherapist, Emma Larner, to make home visits to patients who would find it difficult to attend hospital appointments, helping with diagnosis and treatment plans.

George, Nick’s father, added: “It’s great that so many patients will benefit from Nick’s legacy. The devices will not only improve their quality of life but will relieve their families of a lot of anxiety by providing reassurance that their carbon dioxide levels are being constantly monitored. Without such monitoring, we had an alert system for Nick which would go off two or three times a night.”

Nick leaves a profound legacy with his bequest, carrying on the love and care he showed in life to aid those with muscular dystrophy, improving both their quality of life and life expectancy.

  • If you wish to leave the N&N Hospitals Charity a legacy in your will, please contact Legacy@nnuh.nhs.uk.

Pictured left to right: Katrina Strack, Operations Manager Prasana Sankaran, Respiratory Consultant; Phillipe Grunstein, Respiratory Consultant, and Nick’s father George Fuller.

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