FORMER cricketer – turned dance star – Michael Vaughan took a break from training to visit a Sheffield hospital.
The former Yorkshire and England cricket captain, who is competing in hit BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing, went to see Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s new brain surgery system, which he has helped to fund.
The 38-year-old, from Baslow, who trekked the Great Wall of China with family and friends last September, raised £215,000 towards the surgical kit, which makes the hospital one of the most advanced centres for children’s brain tumour removal in the country.
He was given a demonstration of the technology, which allows surgeons to see a 3D, real-time map of the area they are operating on.
Hesham Zaki, consultant neurosurgeon at the hospital, said: “It’s like a GPS system for the brain.
“We can use it to identify the best, most accurate route to a tumour and can make smaller incisions because of this.
“For the patients themselves, and their families, it means a faster recovery time and a shorter stay in hospital.
“For neurosurgery in Sheffield, this means we’re one of the most advanced centres for children’s brain tumour removal and complex brain surgery.”
Michael, who grew up in Sheffield and attended Silverdale School, said: “It’s exciting to see the equipment we helped fund and to be able to see what a difference it will make to the work of the hospital staff and their young patients.
“Every time I visit the hospital, I am always inspired by the dedication of staff and the bravery of the children. It’s such a special place.”
David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Our surgeons see children from all over the UK and even from overseas, and this incredible piece of technology keeps our hospital at the forefront of children’s neurosurgery.”