A March father who has had life-long treatment at Addenbrookes’ Hospital helped raise money at a charity bingo on Tuesday evening to say thank-you.
Tom Westbrook (37), who was born with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain), has undergone three lots of surgery at the Cambridge hospital to fit shunts to remove the build-up of fluid from his head.
The husband and father was caller at the bingo evening at the Little London pub in Wisbech Road, where he is the regular quiz master for the venue’s weekly Sunday quiz nights.
Tom explained his complicated birth had caused him to develop Hydrocephalus which meant he had his first operation aged six months to fit the life-saving shunts.
He had a second operation aged 11 to replace the shunts and then further surgery in his early 20s for the same procedure.
Each operation means a week-long stay in hospital and Tom said the staff and treatment is fantastic.
He has to undergo check-ups if he develops bouts of bad headaches to make sure the shunts are working properly, which means enduring a lumber puncture to remove fluid from his spine to check levels.
Tom has a tube running from the shunts, which are situated in his head behind his ears, down to his neck and into his stomach to drain the build up of fluid away from his brain.
“Hydrocephalus is quite common, but if it is untreated it can kill you or cause brain damage. I’m so grateful for the care I am given by Addenbrookes’ it is nice to be able to do something to say thank-you,” said Tom.
Money raised by Tuesday night’s bingo is still being counted and will be added to money raised at a second charity bingo evening in aid of the hospital on Tuesday October 15 at the March pub.
Landlord Harrison Salter, explained the pub hosts a weekly bingo but it is now intended to make them in aid of charity once a fortnight, with the pub aiming to match any money raised on the night.
This month the two are in aid of Addenbrookes’ but other local charities will be helped in the coming months.
A fundraising event held last month which included a three-legged race around the town centre raised £1,027 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The event was organised as a thank-you for saving the life of Ellie-May Ellis, the daughter of pub regular Tracy Ellis, who was born with complications caused by Downs Syndrome.