Husband’s thanks to hospital unit

Big-hearted Tommy Price (right), who, along with a friend, raised more than �1,000 to help kit out the rheumatology unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool with items to make life more comfortable for patients there, with wife Pauline, who is a patient, and nurses Andy Fox and Sue Leonard

Big-hearted Tommy Price (right), who, along with a friend, raised more than �1,000 to help kit out the rheumatology unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool with items to make life more comfortable for patients there, with wife Pauline, who is a patient, and nurses Andy Fox and Sue Leonard

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HOSPITAL workers were delighted after a patient’s husband turned up at the ward with more than £1,000 of electrical devices – including a new 51ins TV.

Tommy Price pledged to raise cash for the rheumatology ward at the University Hospital of Hartlepool where his wife Pauline has been a patient for more than 40 years for rheumatoid arthritis.

The retired process worker said there were around four people waiting for treatment on one of the occasions he took his wife and found there was no TV of radio for people to help the time go by.

So he took it upon himself to raise cash for the unit, and along with several friends, he organised a fundraising walk and other donations that topped £1,000.

He was then able to give the ward a new 51-inch flat-screen TV, a 6ft Christmas tree, a microwave, a toaster and a coffee machine, along with jars of coffee, tea and biscuits.

Tommy, 66, who is a volunteer with the Hartlepool RNLI, said: “My wife is a patient and we went over and there was four or five people waiting to be seen and there was no music or anything on.

“I asked the nurse and she said they didn’t have anything, so I said: ‘I will see what I can do’.”

He then got help from his friend Alan Martin who organised a fundraising walk from Seaton Carew to Hartlepool Marina and around 50 people took part.

They also raised money with the help of regulars and staff at the Owton Manor Social Club, and volunteers from the town’s lifeboat station collectively donated £300.

And after finding that the wall bracket to put the television on the wall at the hospital would not work, staff at Comet in Hartlepool, where Tommy bought the items, donated a TV stand.

Tommy, of the Rossmere area of Hartlepool, added: “As far as I know they have never had anything donated for the rheumatology ward.

“When I told them what we were going to they couldn’t believe it.”

Sue Leonard, rheumatology specialist nurse at the hospital, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic, we are a little bit of a forgotten service.

“Our patients are chronically ill and they come to us for care for years and years.”

“It is brilliant because we don’t have funding for this kind of thing. We are thrilled to bits and it will make such a difference. We are so incredibly grateful.”