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Critical care saves Dean’s life – many times

10 October 2013

Fundraising

A spell in critical care is something we all hope we never have to experience. But 43-year-old Dean Cohen has needed the specialist medical treatment several times in his life.

Dean, from Shoebury, was last in the unit at Southend University Hospital in December 2011 when a burst duodenal ulcer caused septicaemia, almost killing him. Previously, he had suffered two brain haemorrhages - the first when he was just six years old.

The care, professionalism and expertise he received each time prompted a year-long fundraising drive by members of Southend-on-Sea bowls club where Dean's father, Mark, was then president.

Each year, the new president chooses a special charity and for Mark it was a 'no brainer': "Critical care saved Dean's life each time. They are absolutely amazing on that ward and we wanted to give something back. Club members were brilliant and by the end of the year had helped raise £5,000."

They held a bowlerthon, competitions, a dinner-dance and variety night when Dean's sister, cabaret singer Julia West, provided the entertainment.

Mark said: "We even managed to collect £400 in small change in a massive whisky jar in the club bar. Everyone was so generous."

The money has helped buy a "Glidescope' machine which makes it easier and less distressing to insert life-saving tubes into a patient's throat.

Kayley Harvey, the hospital's community fundraising manager, said: "We are so grateful to the Cohen family and all the members of Southend-on-Sea bowls club for the generous dedication in supporting our critical care unit."

 

With pic: (l to r) Critical care unit staff Peter Chan, Sue Cam, Karen Kinnear, Rona Hayden, Dr David Higgins with Dean (in wheelchair) and his parents Gill and Mark Cohen