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Local man wins car in MRI appeal raffle

Billy Salmon and Car

A Shildon man is celebrating winning a car in a raffle which raised money to bring state of the art MRI scanners to Darlington Memorial and Bishop Auckland Hospitals.

Billy Salmon bought a single raffle ticket in Bishop Auckland market square and was stunned when he received the call telling him he'd won first prize - a brand new Vauxhall Viva.

Billy and his wife, Mandy, who are both retired, often buy raffle tickets supporting local charities but describe this as by far their biggest win.

Commenting, Billy said, "I was shocked but over the moon when I heard we had won the car and it's particularly great that the raffle was in aid of such an important local cause.  Although I'm fortunate never to have needed an MRI scan myself, I appreciate the huge benefits this equipment will bring."

The appeal has attracted very generous donations from individuals and organisations alike, ranging from a few pounds to several thousand pounds.  Fundraising will continue throughout 2018.

Dr Elizabeth Loney, Clinical Director for Radiology at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "MRI scans are particularly good at looking at soft tissues. Tremendous advances in technology over recent years mean they can be enormously helpful in diagnosing cancer, heart conditions, strokes and many other health issues.  Scans can also give doctors information that previously required the patient to undergo surgery or another invasive procedure as part of the investigation of their symptoms.  Crucially, MRI scanners don't use radiation, unlike x-rays.           

"MRI scans are so useful we're doing more of them each year.  In the last year alone the number of MRI scans has increased by 11%.

 "An MRI scanner is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment a hospital will ever purchase and with the NHS facing huge financial challenges we need to seek public help in buying them.   "We've already had donations from people happy with the care they or a loved one has received, regardless of whether they had a scan.  We still need the local community, including individuals, companies, schools, sports clubs etc, to support us by holding events such as coffee mornings, cake sales and sponsored activities in aid of the Scanner Appeal. Every pound counts.  After all, you never know when you or a loved one might need a scan."

Published 19 December 2017

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital