Potton woman's incredible fundraising effort for hospital that saved her life

PUBLISHED: 10:02 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 19 May 2018

Paula Evetts has raised nearly £3,000 for Papworth lung and heart transplant hospital. Picture: Dave Thompson

Paula Evetts has raised nearly £3,000 for Papworth lung and heart transplant hospital. Picture: Dave Thompson

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A Potton women has been raising money for a heart and lung transplant hospital that saved her life two years ago.

Paula Evetts (right) with her father Dave Thompson (centre) Picture: Dave ThompsonPaula Evetts (right) with her father Dave Thompson (centre) Picture: Dave Thompson

Paula Evetts, 41, had battled heart failure for three years before receiving a life-saving transplant thanks to a revolutionary scheme at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Since the operation, she has been raising money for the hospital through a tombola held in Potton.

Her father Dave Thompson told the Comet: “She started her fundraising as soon as she came out of hospital.

“Within six weeks of her operation she was running the tombola after being inundated with amazing prizes.

“She has held it every year since and its just got bigger and bigger.

“This year she raised £717 and when she took it to Papworth hospital they were so surprised because no-one had ever raised that much for them.”

Paula has raised nearly £3,000 in total, all of which has gone to the donation after circulatory death or DCD scheme – which allows a non-beating heart to be kept alive until the time of transplant.

The machine needed for this is not supported by the NHS, so extra funding and donations are essential.

Dave was full of praise for the team at Papworth, and is delighted that they will move to a new and improved facility in Cambridge this September.

“The work they do at Papworth is brilliant,” he said.

“The operation takes about four-and-a-half hours – which sounds like a long operation, but has become second nature to them.

“You could not wish to meet a better group of people. They work in a cramped space in a hospital that opened in 1918 and you wonder how they manage.

“The great news is that they are moving to Cambridge and will have the same fantastic facilities but in a bigger space.”

Dave also spoke of his pride at seeing Paula recover while urging people to sign up to organ donation.

“I am so proud of Paula for her fundraising work and the way she has fought back to health so well,” he said. “It is incredible.

“The tickets at Paula’s tombola are different as the numbers go from one to nine. This is because one organ donation could save up to nine lives.

“That is the important message. Please become a donor, because you can save someone’s life.”

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