Generous MS patients donate cash to help fellow sufferers at Sunderland Royal Hospital

D41 patient John Hunter tries out one of the new LivEasy chairs with the help of staff. From left at back, Kimberly Wilson, LivEasy's Ian McCartney and John Rafferty (Please crop out the patient on the left in the green and white t-shirt)
D41 patient John Hunter tries out one of the new LivEasy chairs with the help of staff. From left at back, Kimberly Wilson, LivEasy's Ian McCartney and John Rafferty (Please crop out the patient on the left in the green and white t-shirt)
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Patients at Sunderland Royal Hospital battling debilitating multiple sclerosis will be able to receive treatment in comfort thanks to a generous donation from fellow sufferers.

Kimberly Wilson and John Rafferty decided that they wanted to fund-raise £5,000 to buy LivEasy chairs for patients to use at the Hume Unit on ward D41.

Sunderland Royal patients (seated) Harold Browell, left, and John Hunter, right, try out the new LivEasy chairs. Also pictured, from left back row, LivEasy's Ian McCartney, Kimberly Wilson, and far right, John Rafferty, with MS nurse consultant Barbara Wingrove (back, fourth from left) and trust staff on D41.

Sunderland Royal patients (seated) Harold Browell, left, and John Hunter, right, try out the new LivEasy chairs. Also pictured, from left back row, LivEasy's Ian McCartney, Kimberly Wilson, and far right, John Rafferty, with MS nurse consultant Barbara Wingrove (back, fourth from left) and trust staff on D41.

The pair contacted the director of LivEasy, Ian McCartney, to outline their plans and enlist his help.

The specialist chairs provide the versatility and comfort that is needed by those with the illness.

Kimberly, of Ryhope, was first diagnosed with MS three years ago and has had to give up work following a number of operations.

“Barbara Wingrove is my nursing and she has been amazing,” said Kimberly, 44.

We’ve still got a long way to go because we need more chairs and a bladder scanner.

Kimberly Wilson

“She is always there whenever you need to talk about things and I’ve never met anybody like her.

“John and I knew she needed help with getting items for the ward but they didn’t have the funding to make the place more comfortable for patients.

“We decided we’d do what we could to help out Ian has been able to give us the chairs for £5,300 which is a lot less than what they are sold for.”

Despite reaching their initial fund-raising target, Kimberly and John, 69, of Tunstall Bank, who are in the process of setting up a registered charity, say they are hopeful of getting further much-needed pieces of equipment for the ward.

“We’ve still got a long way to go because we need more chairs and a bladder scanner,” added Kimberly.

“MS affects most of a person’s body, including the bladder and bowels. We need a scanner because it’s the infections that can kill you.”

Thanking Kimberly and John, Barbara said: “We are hugely grateful to Kimberly, John and Ian.

“This will make a major difference in the care of MS and our overall service to patients.”

Those wanting to donate towards the MS unit or can provide advice with the setting up of a charity should contact Kimberly on 07517359329.