Congleton man Keith Oldham (right) with his wife Andrea and Macclesfield Hospital consultant colorectal and general surgeon Chris Smart.
Congleton man Keith Oldham (right) with his wife Andrea and Macclesfield Hospital consultant colorectal and general surgeon Chris Smart.
Local cancer survivor’s £2,000 gesture of thanks for life-saving care
17 January 2019

A local cancer survivor has thanked a surgeon who operated on him by raising funds for a £2,000 cutting-edge piece of equipment.

Congleton resident Keith Oldham raised the amount to purchase a top-of-the-range surgical headlight for Macclesfield Hospital surgeons following successful treatment to remove a bowel tumour in May 2017.

Keith, aged 58, was so grateful to consultant colorectal and general surgeon Chris Smart that when he and his wife Andrea got married in September, they asked for donations to cover the cost of the equipment rather than gifts.

Thanks to the generosity of the couple’s family and friends, this raised much more than the £2,000 required for the headlight. Keith is now planning to donate the remainder of the funds raised to a local cancer-related cause.

Keith said: “Chris is an amazing guy and has a fantastic bedside manner. He’s now one of my heroes and I’ll never forget what he did for me, along with the staff at the Macmillan Centre and on Ward 1 at Macclesfield Hospital.

“Throughout my experience with the NHS, the staff at every level have been wonderful, from the housekeeper who brought me a cup of tea in the morning after my surgery to the consultants who oversaw my care. I’ve experienced such wonderful humanity and I wanted to give a little back by fundraising for this additional piece of equipment which will benefit Chris and, in turn, his patients.”

Mr Smart added: “I am extremely grateful to Keith for what he has done for us. Despite everything he has been through he has remained amazingly positive and continued to think about helping other people.

“This very high quality piece of kit will help me and my colleagues to work even more effectively when performing surgery in areas like the pelvis, which can be very hard to see into.”

Keith, who works as a freelance IT contractor, has been through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has also had additional tumours removed from his lungs in recent months.

However, he has been determined to maintain a positive attitude to the situation throughout in order to help comfort his family and friends, including his three sons. He is also keen for his story to be shared as a positive example to other cancer patients. 

If you would like to raise funds for East Cheshire NHS Trust’s official charity ECHO, please go to www.echnhscharity.org for details of how you can get involved.