Can you help Stevenage man raise £17,000 for stomach pacemaker?
PUBLISHED: 07:03 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 28 March 2019
A family is rallying together to raise money for a Stevenage man who needs a gastric pacemaker fitted after being diagnosed with an incurable condition.
Chris Chipperfield, 36, was diagnosed three years ago with gastroparesis, which causes the stomach muscles to become paralysed.
He told the Comet: “Everything I was eating I was vomiting. At first I thought I had a tummy bug and kept it to myself.
“I secretly went to the doctors and they initially thought it was stomach cancer.
“When I went to hear my results, the doctor said ‘unfortunately it’s not stomach cancer’.
“I wondered what he meant by ‘unfortunately’ – when I asked he said, ‘with cancer we could have fixed it, but there’s no fix for what you’ve got.”
Since his diagnosis, Chris has gone from 13st 8lbs to 8st 6lbs, has been fitted with a feeding tube in his abdomen and must carry a rucksack with pumps, tubes and syringes.
Every three months the tube needs to be changed, costing the NHS £8,000 each time.
The JustGiving page set up by Chris’ aunt has raised more than £3,500 in just over two weeks.
Chris continued: “It’s amazing really. Unfortunately, the main purpose is that the NHS won’t fund it because it’s such a rare condition and there aren’t any studies.
“My surgeon has said he will work for free and supply anaesthetist, I just have to pay for my time in hospital and the pacemaker itself – which costs £9,220.
“On April 19 there’s a group of 10 people going to hike the highest mountain in the UK which I’m going to attempt to do myself – even though I shouldn’t. I just want to get on with it.
“Fitting the pacemaker would save the NHS £1.64 million over 10 years, which is how long it would last.”
Joining the fundraising effort is Chris’ employer Steven Eagell Toyota in Cambridge. When co-workers contribute, the company will match it pound for pound.
The company has also commissioned a video to providing more information about Chris and his condition.
To donate to the cause, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amy-whitby-5.