Parachute jump helps to raise money for call bells at the West Suffolk Hospital

It was a challenge that Ashley Byford was enthusiastically keen to undertake.

A charity skydive in a bid to raise money for charity.

And so the 32-year-old bravely took to the skies above the Beccles Airfield, in Ellough, and in the process raised just over £1,000 for the My WiSH charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

The funds have now been put towards purchasing some specialist call bells for patients.

Ashley, who lives in The Street, in Croxton, near Thetford, is currently registered as a speech and language therapist, and recognized the need for the bells.

“I am really happy for the call bells to have been purchased,” she said. “One of the basic things that people need on the wards is the opportunity for them to get people’s attention and to get their wants and needs across to staff.”

And one of the patients to benefit from the new device is David Callf who suffered a fall whilst away on holiday. During his stay in hospital it was discovered he had a tumour on his spine. He lost all movement in his arms and legs and was unable to use a conventional buzzer to notify staff of any needs he had.

The staff gave him a wanderguard, a device that notifies them if someone has moved by setting off a very loud alarm. David felt very uncomfortable using this as he didn’t want to keep waking other patients up every time he used it.

The new call bells are much larger and more sensitive than the normal switches, meaning David could get the attention of the staff when he needed, without disrupting the ward.

He is the first patient to use the bells and he said: “The staff here at West Suffolk Hospital are fantastic and so patient with me because of my condition this buzzer has made such a difference to me already.”

Ashley added: “It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to see how the switches work and hear a first-hand account of the difference it has made for David.

“Sometimes it’s the simplest of adaptations that make all the difference to the patients experience of care whilst in hospital and this new call bell switch is wonderful.”

And Sue Smith, My WiSH fundraising manager, said: “Seeing David using the new call bell really did bring home the importance of the charity.

“He now can call the staff when he needs them. I would like to say a huge thank you to Ashley for doing a skydive to make this possible, her money has enabled us to purchase two call bell adaptors and several types of specialist switches that can be used throughout the hospital.”

Pictured above is patient David Callf and Ashley Byford.

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