Determined breast cancer survivor brings £150K of kit to new QEII

PUBLISHED: 10:23 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 08 October 2018

Mandy Wilde, Sue Sexton, Vickie Sanderson, specialist radiographer and lead mammographer, and Vicki Adkins.
Picture: John McMahon

Mandy Wilde, Sue Sexton, Vickie Sanderson, specialist radiographer and lead mammographer, and Vicki Adkins. Picture: John McMahon

John McMahon

A breast cancer survivor has raised enough cash to buy state-of-the art equipment for the new QEII hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

In a dizzying array of fundraising, Vicki Adkins managed to pull the money together for Herts Breast Unit Appeal in the space of just a year.

The prone table is an upgrade on a piece of equipment that was bought in 2006.

Made in the USA, it is the most advanced piece of equipment of its kind and allows doctors to see 3D images of biopsies that can be performed while patients are lying down.

A spokesperson for the East and North Herts NHS Trust explained: “A prone table makes it easier for clinical staff to perform a biopsy, and we are able to offer a quicker and more comfortable experience for our patients.

“Patients are able to lie down on the table, which means the procedure is shielded from their view and they feel more relaxed.”

Vicki, who had a partial mastectomy and sessions of chemotherapy in 1996, said she had been impressed with the medical staff but felt the hospital environment at the time was not ideal for people struggling with a life-threatening illness.

“They’ve got a wonderful breast cancer team, it’s just the wrong environment,” she said.

She had been inspired to raise money to help when she saw a terribly distressed woman running down the hall. “She was absolutely sobbing, with her husband following her.

“That’s what triggered me off. If she’d had more privacy she’d have had somehere to go to have things explained to her.”

The hospital environment has improved a lot since then, Vicki explained, but for over 20 years she has been determined to continue in her fight to help breast cancer patients.

Vicki, who used to live in Cuffley but now fundraises for the new QEII from her home in Cambridgeshire, set about fundraising for the prone table just last year.

Fundraisers have done everything from bike rides to abseiling to bring the charity closer to its goal.

“We have walked the 14 bridges of London, done a 10K run, slid down a zip wire, done line dancing, rock and roll evenings, pin badges, lunches, a fashion show, and quiz nights,” said Vicki.

One event organised by Mandy Wild - the daughter-in-law of Tewin rocker Marty Wild - brought in £72,000 for the cause.

“The amount that people do, it’s just nuts!” said Vicki.

The Trust spokesperson said: “The Trust would like to thank the Hertfordshire Breast Unit Appeal for raising funds for a new prone table in the New QEII’s breast clinic.”

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