Sheffield student nurse’s thanks after pioneering brain surgery

Georgina Redfearne with her surgeon Saurabh Sinha who was the first adult in the UK to have pioneering surgery to tackle hydrocephalus. Picture: Andrew Roe
Georgina Redfearne with her surgeon Saurabh Sinha who was the first adult in the UK to have pioneering surgery to tackle hydrocephalus. Picture: Andrew Roe

A student nurse who was the first UK adult to have pioneering surgery for a rare brain condition has raised more than £10,000 for a Sheffield charity.

Georgina Redfearne was diagnosed with hydrocephalus - or spinal fluid build-up on the brain - as a teenager after suffering headaches, fainting and a lack of bladder control.

(l-r) Liz Barran, director of Neurocare, surgeon Saurabh Sinha, Georgina Redfearne, Katie Pendray, fundraiser at Neurocare and Jane Shooter, at a cheque presentation were Georgina has raised over �10,000, after she was the first adult in the UK to have pioneering surgery to tackle hydrocephalus. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Liz Barran, director of Neurocare, surgeon Saurabh Sinha, Georgina Redfearne, Katie Pendray, fundraiser at Neurocare and Jane Shooter, at a cheque presentation were Georgina has raised over �10,000, after she was the first adult in the UK to have pioneering surgery to tackle hydrocephalus. Picture: Andrew Roe

The 21-year-old’s life-threatening condition means that she has had to have eight brain operations.

But thanks to a new device - called a telemetric ICP monitor - inserted in her skull by Sheffield neurosurgeon Saurabh Sinha her fluid levels can be monitored while a shunt also drains excess fluid to her abdomen where it can be absorbed.

Now Georgina has found a way to say thank you by raising £10,300 for charity Neurocare through various events.

The charity pays for life-saving equipment on the neurological wards of Sheffield’s hospitals.

Georgina said: “Neurocare really supported me, with the equipment they provided and just by emailing to see whether I was okay, so it really helped and I wanted to do something for them. I am lots better now.

“Everyone said that it must be scary because the operatio hadn’t been done before but if you trust your surgeon you can go with your gut - and I trust him with my life.”

Georgina, who lives in Ordsall near Retford, Nottinghamshire, was inspired to become a nurse after her treatment and is now in the second year of an adult nursing course at The University of Sheffield.

Some of the money she raised through a medium night and fun day will go towards a new neuro rehabiliation ward at Northern General Hospital in Fir Vale - where her monitor was installed in a 30-minute surgery.

Katie Pendray, fundraiser at Neurocare, said: “Georgina is a fairly new supporter of Neurocare but she has done an amazing amount in a short space of time - she is really dedicated.

“The unit is a halfway point for people between hospital and home and is one of our biggest projects that we are funding at the moment.It’s fantastic some of the money Georgina raised will go towards the unit.”