‘Herd of Sheffield’ auction boosts bid for ‘vital machine’

Fran in hospital.
Fran in hospital.
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A charity auction for Sheffield Children’s Hospital will help to pay for a unique machine that allows doctors to make a diagnosis without doing invasive surgery.

The ‘Herd of Sheffield’ auction, in which 58 elephant sculptures sited around the city went under the hammer, raised £410, 600 for the hospital.

Part of the money raised will be used for a new fluoroscopy machine, which obtains real-time moving x-rays.

A new machine is needed as the current one is more than 10 years’ old and will soon be obsolete, with no further spare parts or engineer support available beyond 2016.

Medical staff say it is an essential piece of equipment, which specialists from orthopaedics to gastroenterology rely on daily as part of their work.

David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “This incredible piece of kit is the current gold standard for the timely diagnosis and treatment of vascular injuries and operates with the lowest possible level of radiation.”

One patient who has benefited from the machine is a 15-year-old girl called Fran.

She was diagnosed with Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition with only 400 documented worldwide cases.

This rare condition causes a blockage of the small intestines.

Fran said: “The fluoroscopy machine helped me to be diagnosed so I could get the right treatment.

“The hospital has helped me so much with my treatment and so it would be really good if people could help support the hospital and help make things better for patients like me.”