Former patient, Tim Walwin returned to the Royal United Hospital (RUH) last week to present £6,000 for our Facial Surgery and Orthodontics Special Appeal.

Tim (pictured above) wanted to give something back following the care he received from the amazing staff at the RUH and held a charity event in July with the aim to raise money for the hospital.

Arriving with the cheque for the Appeal, we invited Tim to come and see the new Facial Surgery and Orthodontics department that’s currently being constructed in the hospital. He was given a tour around the new department and was shown how the new build will provide a ‘Centre for Excellence’ for conditions of the head and neck, including cancer and facial injuries, oral surgery and orthodontics.

It was last December when Tim found an ulcer in his mouth, which had burst and on examination at his dentist he was referred to the RUH. A biopsy was taken at the hospital and just before Christmas Tim was told that he had cancer and that he needed to have an operation and a treatment plan would be put in place.

In January, Tim was admitted to The Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) for his operation and a large part of his right bottom jaw and cheek was removed. Some of his bone, muscle and blood vessels were then removed from his leg to replace part of his jaw. The operation took over 10 hours and his recovery was slow but he was able to go home after two weeks. The first week of daily radiotherapy sessions began at the RUH on 12 March and continued for six weeks. Tim had Chemotherapy once a week during that time and the treatment went well, apart from having ulcers appearing in his mouth from the radiotherapy.

After his treatment, all was looking hopeful and Tim wanted to say thank you for the care he had received at the BRI and the RUH. He held a charity event on the 14 July with a colleague, Gabby, who was raising money for Motor Neurone Disease Association as her mother passed away from this devastating disease over three years ago. Over 400 tickets were sold to friends and family and the event was held in a barn on their farm.

There was music, a hog roast, steam engine, bouncy castle, charity bar, raffle, auction, and a raffle. The raffle raised £1,315, and the auction made £6,648. Even Tim’s grandchildren did a great job with their collection buckets and raised over £100. The takings from the bar were donated and included with the ticket sales. After costs were deducted, the total amount raised came to £23,901.38 and a quick message to friends and family asking for help to raise the figure to £25,000 resulted in an amazing final push of donations and amazingly the amount was raised… the grand total was an incredible £28,243.88.

Tim said: “We were completely blown away to have raised so much money for two very worthy causes, The Facial Surgery and Orthodontics department for The Forever Friends Appeal at Bath’s Royal United Hospital and funds will also go to Motor Neurones Disease Association. We have recently presented a cheque for £4,150 to the Bath Cancer Support Group which fundraises to provide facilities for cancer patients who attend the RUH. The money will be used for a low level laser therapy unit that can reduce the severity of mouth ulcers caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.”

The week after the party, Tim had another scan and sadly, he was given the devastating news that the cancer had reappeared and was terminal. He had another course of chemotherapy but it will not cure at this stage and has now decided to not to have further chemotherapy but he’s trying alternative methods to help instead.

For information about our Facial Surgery and Orthodontics Special Appeal and how you can help support, please click here