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John’s equipment donation legacy

21 July 2015

Health Care

John Manna, 78, from Benfleet may have passed away from cancer five months ago but his legacy lives on thanks to a donation of new equipment to Southend University Hospital’s heart and chest clinic.

His daughter, Lucie Manna, 25, from Rayleigh, explained why her dad would have been pleased to see the equipment come to his local hospital.

She said: "Through his work dad had private health insurance but although he worked abroad a lot he always saw this area as home, was always big on charity and would have wanted his equipment to be used by local people who have a need for it and would benefit from it."

That equipment is worth thousands of pounds and comprises of a hospital bed, continuous positive airway pressure (or CPAP) machines, and a home ventilator which are all used for respiratory conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and many other breathing problems. They also donated a blood pressure monitor.

Staff from the respiratory team were delighted and moved by the donation, as Lisa Ward, lead respiratory nurse at the hospital, explained: "We are so grateful for the kind gesture from him and his family, thinking of others at a time when they have suffered such a loss. This equipment will make a huge impact on the care of these patients and will help so many people for many years to come."

Sleep and ventilation conditions can have serious consequences; they can affect both quality of life as well as the way they impact on people's overall health. In some cases people are so sleepy it can affect how they drive, mainly falling asleep at the wheel. Patients suffer severe sleep deprivation which affects all aspects of life including memory and concentration.

Lisa concluded: "Equipment is expensive and this donation will have a huge benefit for our service in Southend that manages the care of up to 3, 600 patients."

At any one time the Manna family donation could be helping to improve the lives of ten people, which will turn into hundreds over the years the equipment will be in use.

Jane Manna, Lucie's mum, concluded: "We wanted to make a real positive out of a negative and this has done that and it is important that this equipment is used, that it came to be donated to Southend Hospital was a complete no brainer. It was the perfect opportunity for us and John to give something back to the local community. He'd be very proud and so are we."

Lucie attended the first donation of equipment with her eight month old son, Arthur, who only got to meet his grandad briefly but will grow up knowing just how many people's lives his grandad's final selfless act has touched.