Ely woman who survived failing heart valves and bowel cancer organises charity ceilidh for hospitals that saved her life

PUBLISHED: 15:19 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 21 October 2019

Ely woman Sheila Neill survived two failing heart valves and bowel cancer. To say thank you to the hospitals that helped save her life, she is holding a charity ceilidh at Ely College on November 9. Picture: SHEILA NEILL.

Ely woman Sheila Neill survived two failing heart valves and bowel cancer. To say thank you to the hospitals that helped save her life, she is holding a charity ceilidh at Ely College on November 9. Picture: SHEILA NEILL.

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An Ely woman who beat bowel cancer and survived two failing heart valves is holding a charity ceilidh at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals that helped save her life.

Catch the Pigeon ceilidh band perform at Sheila Neill's fundraising concert at Ely College on November 9. Picture: CATCH THE PIGEON.Catch the Pigeon ceilidh band perform at Sheila Neill's fundraising concert at Ely College on November 9. Picture: CATCH THE PIGEON.

Sheila Neill is organising the fundraiser, which takes place on November 9 from 7-11pm, to raise money for Papworth and Addenbrooke's Hospitals as well as Macmillan Cancer Support.

She said: "Over the last 18 months I have had a lot of care from Papworth and Addenbrooke's hospitals, and it struck me how lucky we are in this area to have such good hospitals, and all free at the points of supply through the NHS.

"In May 2018, I was taken ill and it was discovered by staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital that I had two failing heart valves.

"I was rushed to Papworth Hospital where the skill of my surgeon in an open-heart operation repaired both valves.

"Following three and a half weeks of superb care, I was discharged into the care of my GP and the cardiac nurses.

"During my recovery from that procedure, it was discovered that I had bowel cancer, which required further surgery and chemotherapy treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

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"I completed my treatment for that in May 2019. So that was two serious conditions successfully treated by the NHS within one year.

"I have now recovered and am getting stronger weekly with continuing support from the hospital and community services.

"Feeling the joy of life and looking back on all the help and care I received from medical and associated staff at the two hospitals, I have decided to have a fundraising ceilidh and supporting entertainments to raise funds for the hospital charities and Macmillan Cancer Care.

"It will be a way of celebrating life and expressing my thanks for all the help I have received."

The ceilidh will be led by local group Catch The Pigeon with caller Trevor Smith directing the dances.

There will be a bar selling ales, lager, wines and soft drinks, and a ploughman's supper is included in the ticket price.

Additional entertainment comes from local folk singer Andy Wall and newcomer Oscar Wolfe, who will entertain the audience with a few songs.

Brian Watson will also lead a raffle, with prizes donated by many local companies, and there may be a game or two during the interval.

Buy a ticket from Babylon Arts (Waterside, Ely), or Ely Tourist information Centre, (Cromwell House, Ely), or online at www.elyhospitalfundraiser.wordpress.com

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