A lasting legacy

10.08.17 Categories: Supporter stories

In August 2015, Paul Gallihawk was taking part in a triathlon to raise money for King’s when he died suddenly and unexpectedly from an unidentified underlying health problem. Paul had been raising funds to say thank you to King’s for successfully treating his father Malcolm for a brain tumour. Many people paid tribute to Paul by donating to his Justgiving page, and Whitehawks, the football club Paul started, held a charity match in his honour. Funds raised in Paul’s memory totalled £27,000.

The funds have been used to buy a vital piece of equipment used by surgeons during minimally-invasive brain surgery. The endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator is a long, thin, flexible tube that allows surgeons to remove tumours quickly.

King’s Consultant Neurosurgeon Chris Chandler says: ‘We’re the busiest neurosurgery team in the UK for tumours. This unit would not be where it is without this kind of donation. This device allows us to do cases that we would never have been able to do in the past.’

The device has already been used on more than 50 patients, including many children.

‘Sometimes the corridors we have to operate through are very small,’ says Chris. ‘This makes it easier to treat babies and children. We’re second only to Great Ormond Street Hospital in the number of children we treat and in addition we treat adults of all ages. Safety, accuracy and outcomes are improved through using smaller equipment.’

Paul’s father Malcolm said: ‘We’re really pleased to hear that this equipment will make such a difference – better for patient, easier for the surgeon.’

Chris says: ‘I cannot overestimate how important this equipment is, it makes such a difference. King’s is leading edge and this allows us to up our game, raising the bar higher and keeping King’s at the top.’

Paul’s partner Hayley says: ‘I am very overwhelmed with how the money has helped out King’s College Hospital and I think that Paul would be incredibly proud of what he has achieved. I am very proud to have known Paul and what an amazing person he was.’

We are so grateful to Paul’s family at such a difficult time for their continuing commitment to and support for King’s.

Lead image: Paul's parents Malcolm and Linda Gallihawk and his partner Hayley with Chris Chandler (second right) and Clinical Director Ranj Bhangoo, who performed Malcolm’s brain surgery.