Star athlete Abi launches £3 million new scanning unit

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Evan Davies with Abi Sowton, Louisa Worladge and staff at Spire Southampton HospitalFifteen-year-old schoolgirl Abi Sowton, whose spinal fusion operation for scoliosis was so successful that she won her school sports day 800m race only four months later, has officially opened a £3 million state-of-the-art scanning suite at Spire Southampton Hospital.

Also at the launch was Myeloma UK’s head of fundraising, Louisa Worladge, who accepted a cheque from the hospital to kick start the hospitals commitment to them as their charity of choice for the coming year. The charity provides information and support to patients with myeloma, a painful and life-threatening cancer of the bone, particularly in the spine. Patients suffering with myeloma are among the spinal patients who will benefit from Spire Southampton’s new MRI and CT suite.
Abi says: “I’m really proud that I was asked back to the hospital to be involved in the launch. The scans were a really important part of my treatment as they meant that the surgeon could see clearly where my spinal cord was before the operation, which meant that it was much safer.”

Head of clinical services, Jane Whitney-Smith explains: “Spire Southampton’s investment in the new suite supports the high complexity of surgery carried out which differs from many other private hospitals. Consultants are greatly aided by the images from the new diagnostic machines, which are of such incredibly detailed quality.”

One of Spire Southampton’s defining services is spinal surgery and one operation in particular – kyphoplasty. Although generally used for osteoporosis patients, this has been shown to ‘turn off’ the spinal pain experienced by myeloma sufferers, significantly improving their quality of life.

During its first year under the ownership of Spire Healthcare, Spire Southampton Hospital has invested £5million in new facilities and technology. It is this ongoing commitment to investment in diagnostic technology and the provision of acute care procedures that makes it a leader in the independent sector. Many of the 7,000+ patients who are treated at the 78-bed hospital each year will benefit from the new MRI & CT suite which will be used by consultant radiologists and consultant surgeons from many specialties including orthopaedic, ENT and cardiac.

Head of clinical services, Jane Whitney-Smith adds: “As we enter our second year as a Spire hospital we are very proud to be supporting Myeloma UK.

“We are a regional centre for cardiology, cardio-thoracic and hepato-biliary surgery; and have a level 3 intensive care unit. which means we treat a great many patients who are seriously ill with very complex conditions, particularly in the fields of cardio-thoracic and spinal surgery.”

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