Di­a­betic foot care boost for pi­o­neer­ing med­i­cal cen­tre

Llanelli Star - - Letters - Lee MacGre­gor @lee_­mac­gre­gor lee.macgre­[email protected]­di­awales.co.uk 07798 572356

A LLANELLI med­i­cal cen­tre that aims to pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions as a re­sult of di­a­betes has been handed a £10,000 boost from the Ray Grav­ell and Friends Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

The money from the trust, set up in mem­ory of Ray, who had his leg am­pu­tated be­cause of one such com­pli­ca­tion, has been handed to the Meurig Wil­liams Com­mu­nity Di­a­betes Cen­tre at Prince Philip Hospi­tal, fol­low­ing a nom­i­na­tion by Parker Plant Hire Ltd.

It will en­able the cen­tre to pur­chase four di­ag­nos­tic ma­chines which al­low clin­i­cians to as­sess cir­cu­la­tion and an­kle and toe blood pres­sures.

The ma­chines are por­ta­ble and can be used for as­sess­ments at lo­cal hos­pi­tals, health cen­tres or even in a pa­tient’s home.

Joanne Mor­ris, prin­ci­pal po­di­a­trist for di­a­betes and vas­cu­lar dis­ease at Hy­wel Dda Univer­sity Health Board, who has spe­cialised in di­a­betic foot dis­ease for more than 20 years said: “I met Ray Grav­ell the week af­ter his am­pu­ta­tion on the ward in Glang­wili Hospi­tal, at the time I was one of only four di­a­betic foot spe­cial­ist po­di­a­trist across Hy­wel Dda.

“This spe­cial­ism was also in its in­fancy across Wales. This meet­ing with Ray was so mem­o­rable to me as a clin­i­cian. Why, I asked my­self, should such a fit, ath­letic man be struck down with di­a­betic foot prob­lems which had lead him to our meet­ing that day in Au­gust in Glang­wili. Meet­ing Ray and his sub­se­quent vis­its to me had a pro­found ef­fect on me.

“His up­beat per­son­al­ity, his hon­est, hum­ble man­ner con­sid­er­ing his celebrity sta­tus, and his keen de­sire to help me in the fu­ture to help oth­ers to un­der­stand the need ‘to look af­ter your di­a­betes and your feet’ so that oth­ers would not suf­fer the same jour­ney as him­self.

“Ray had of­fered to do some ed­u­ca­tion talks to newly di­ag­nosed di­a­bet­ics on foot care, and I looked for­ward to work­ing with him on those. The tragic loss of such a per­son­al­ity who could have made such an im­pact on in­di­vid­u­als for their care was huge.

“In the past 10 years, things have changed; I now lead a team of 12 di­a­betic and vas­cu­lar po­di­a­trists who spe­cialise in di­a­betic and pe­riph­eral vas­cu­lar dis­ease of the foot and the role is grow­ing in its re­spon­si­bil­ity across all our hospi­tal sites.

“We now run vas­cu­lar as­sess­ment clin­ics for the Llanelli area, in the new Meurig Wil­liams Cen­tre. Our aim is to iden­tify and sup­port peo­ple with pe­riph­eral ar­te­rial dis­ease (poor cir­cu­la­tion) and im­prov­ing their health and well-be­ing as well as re­duc­ing pre­ventable heart at­tacks, strokes and leg am­pu­ta­tions.

“The ma­chines that we have pur­chased from the gen­er­ous do­na­tion re­ceived from the Ray Grav­ell and Friends Char­i­ta­ble Trust al­lows us to pro­vide en­hanced as­sess­ments to our pa­tients. “The ma­chines per­form toe brachial pres­sures, which are proven to be more ac­cu­rate than an­kle brachial pres­sures for the di­a­betic pop­u­la­tion which will ben­e­fit our pa­tients.”

Ge­orge Parker said: “We are de­lighted to have nom­i­nated The Meurig Wil­liams Di­a­betic Cen­tre, we as a com­pany felt it was a fit­ting trib­ute to Ray Grav­ell and I also had a good friend Clive Darkin who sadly lost his life to di­a­betes.”

Dr Robin Ghosal, hospi­tal di­rec­tor, added: “Prince Philip Hospi­tal is in­deed very grate­ful to re­ceive such a kind do­na­tion from Parker Plant Hire and Ray Grav­ell and Friends Char­i­ta­ble trust.

“This money has al­ready been put to good use for our di­a­betic pa­tients here in Llanelli with the pur­chase of state of the art po­di­a­try equip­ment that can help iden­tify po­ten­tial foot prob­lems ear­lier which en­ables us to start treat­ing pa­tients quicker.”

Pic­ture: John Cor­bett

Ray Grav­ell lost the lower half of his leg to di­a­betes in 2007. Now a fund in his name is help­ing di­a­betic pa­tients in Llanelli.

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