Kind-hearted Ray Ballard from the Isle of Sheppey has raised £1,500 to thank the specialist health team who cared for his father who suffered from heart failure.
Ray’s father, Peter Ballard was looked after by the community cardiology team at Medway Community Healthcare until he passed away in 2010.
Now Ray, a retired singer and stage performer, hosts annual charity cabaret shows on the Isle of Sheppey to raise funds for the team. He also sells recordings of his shows on DVD and holds raffles to add to his fundraising total.
Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is too weak or stiff to be able to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure.
With the money Ray has collected the cardiology team have been able to purchase six hand-held Electrocardiagram (ECG) machines. The machines are used in addition to reading a patient’s pulse and other checks when visiting patients with heart failure at home. The machines read the patient’s heart rate and rhythm by scanning their thumbs.
Pauline Rouse, heart failure specialist nurse at Medway Community Healthcare, said: “We are really grateful to Ray for all of his fundraising efforts.
“The benefit of using the hand-held ECG machine in addition to our regular checks is that is gives us further details about a patient’s heart. This means that when the clinician detects an abnormality they can see more information about the patient’s condition.
“If necessary, they will then have further investigations to gain as much information as possible about their condition.”
Peter was cared for by the cardiology team towards the end of his life. He was visited frequently at his home on the Isle of Sheppey by cardiac nurses who supported him in controlling his symptoms, including helping him to breathe easier and making any changes needed to his medication or pain relief.
Ray said: “Dad lived with heart failure for fifteen years which was longer than we expected and he made the most of that time, always keeping a smile on his face.
“I was impressed with the care my dad received so I fundraise to say thank you to Mary and the team who cared so wonderfully for him. Knowing that these hand-held ECG machines will help the team to do their job as well as give patients some peace of mind by giving them information quickly is brilliant.”
Ray’s next charity cabaret night will be held on Thursday, 21 February 2013 from 7.30 – 10.30pm at Blue Town Heritage Centre, Sheerness. Tickets cost £10 per person. For further information and tickets please contact Ray Ballard on 07747 086421 or the Blue Town Heritage Centre on 01795 662981.