Frankie Dettori, the most famous face in racing, has helped to launch a £500,000 appeal to build a new cardiac centre at West Suffolk Hospital.
The 46-year-old father of five who is the ambassador for the appeal, which is the biggest ever undertaken at the hospital, said was “very important” to raise everyone’s awareness of heart issues particularly as the Bury St Edmunds hospital had seen a significant increase in patient demand over the last five years, and was now on a mission to transform and improve the care patients with heart conditions receive.
“I have spent 31 years in Newmarket and consider myself a Suffolk person; the appeal is very much local to me and my family,” said Frankie “and we all have the opportunity to support great new facilities in our hospital, so I am more than happy to help out.
“This is the biggest appeal that the charity has taken on, so let’s hope we get the funds to make the dream a reality.”
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state-of-the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 the My WiSH Every Heart Matters appeal is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.
Sue Smith, fundraising manager for My WiSH, added: “Having Frankie on board to help the campaign is a just fantastic, and he has been so willing to be our ambassador.
“It is the biggest appeal we have ever launched at the hospital but we are welcoming the challenge.”
Dr Pegah Salahshouri, consultant cardiologist, added: “With an ageing population in West Suffolk, we’re likely to see more patients with heart disease that need our care. “We want those people to feel inspired by their surroundings and confident about the care they receive when they come to our hospital. This appeal will help us to do that.”