Shropshire Star

Golfers on tee to raise money for Wolverhampton trust where former bookie has received care

A retired bookmaker who says he owes his life to a Wolverhampton consultant has made a second charitable donation to the unit where he was treated

Graham Ellis (R) withSanjiv Petkar

Graham Ellis from Bridgnorth made his first donation of £1,420 to the Cardiothoracic Trust Fund at New Cross Hospital last year calling it a 'thank you' for the care he’d received while having a defibrillator fitted. He has now raised £1,400 from a golf day in September.

His ill health started with a heart attack while on holiday in Thailand, at which point Graham returned to the UK and received life-saving support from staff at the hospital

Graham, aged 79, has since had two other procedures, to fit stents in weakened arteries and improve blood flow.

He said he owes Sanjiv Petkar, the consultant electrophysiologist at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) his life which is why he decided to host another fundraiser.

The money was raised by 30 golfers playing in a four-ball tournament in September at Chesterton Valley Golf Club, near Bridgnorth, with a special auction at the end of the night which saw guests bag themselves treats such as meals at The Plough Inn in Claverley and vouchers for games of mini-golf.

The tournament raised £800 in total, while two raffles held at Rudge Heath Stores, on Wolverhampton Road, raised around a further £600. Raffle and auction prizes were generously donated from local businesses including Putt Putt Noodle in Telford and The Inn at Shipley in Wolverhampton.

Graham said: "I owe Mr Petkar my life and it was good to be back at the heart and lung centre to present him with this money.

"It’s our way of recognising the efforts of him, and all the cardiology staff, and to support patients like myself who are in need of treatment.”

Mr Petkar, who has worked for the trust for 14 years, said: “We are very thankful for this donation and grateful that Graham has considered us here at the trust. I’m pleased to hear he feels good in himself too, and that he felt well enough to travel back to Thailand earlier this year.”

Amie Rogers, fundraising and lead digital engagement Officer at The RWT Charity, added: “It was so lovely to see Graham again and to accept yet another kind donation. We thank him, and Eldon, for their efforts – the funds will be used for the benefit of our patients.”

The cardiology team plans to buy specialised equipment for use in the theatre in which Graham was operated on and plans are already in place for another fundraiser next year which may become annual