£6,000 donated to robot appeal to thank life-saving neurosurgeon

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A Derbyshire man who suffered a massive brain haemorrhage has raised more than £6,300 to thank the neurosurgeon who saved his life.

Ron Gains thought his persistent headache was a painful reminder that he needed new glasses. But when the former service manager at BMW Stratstone Garage in Chesterfield suddenly collapsed at work in October, 2013, the true cause was much more serious.

Ron had suffered a burst aneurysm on one of the main arteries that supplies his brain. His life was only saved thanks to pioneering surgery by Mr Umang Patel, then a neurosurgeon at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

The 53-year-old underwent a 15-hour occipital artery bypass operation – a procedure which had only been done a handful times in the UK before.

“I have to pinch myself I’m here because what Mr Patel did was truly unbelievable,” said Ron who now helps his wife Jayne run Unstone Post Office, near Dronfield.

The father-of-one has suffered a wide range of health issues as a result of the brain aneurysm – including major stomach problems, short-term memory loss and a constant headache.

But both Ron and Jayne are hugely grateful for the work and support of the neuro team at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and have raised nearly £6,400 over the last four years to say thank-you.

That money – which had been held in a separate neurovascular fund – has now been donated by the couple to Neurocare’s ROSA Robot Appeal.

The Sheffield-based charity needs to raise £250,0000 to secure the most advanced surgical robot of its kind for the city.

The ROSA surgical assistant robot could transform the lives of thousands of people needing complex brain surgery.

Just like a GPS system, ROSA provides neurosurgeons with extraordinarily accurate 3D maps of the brain, allowing them to precisely and safely reach areas they could not reach before.

This offers real hope for people with poorly controlled epilepsy, deep-seated brain tumours, Parkinson’s Disease and other complex brain disorders.

Ron said: “We know at first hand the amazing work that Neurocare does and how they support the brilliant neurosurgeons at Sheffield.

“Although Mr Patel has since left, the team continues to do pioneering work. The ROSA shortens operation times massively giving patients the chance of a much better outcome after brain surgery and we are delighted to support the appeal.”

Just last month Ron and Jane raised £200 by walking 5K in Neurocare’s Head Start event at Rother Valley Country Park, and Ron added: “I just live every second of every day and I’m so very fortunate to have Jayne, who has been just amazing throughout.”

Neurocare funds life-saving equipment, cutting edge research and patient support in Sheffield hospitals’ neurological wards. To find out more about the charity go to www.neurocare.org.uk.

To donate to the ROSA Appeal go Neurocare’s JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/neurocare/rosarobot or you can make a text donation by texting ROSA17 and how much you want to donate to 70070.