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Ben Wiles

Echo in Africa

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]‘Have you ever suffered from Rheumatic Fever?’[i] [/i]As a medical student I was taught that this question should be asked to every patient, but I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. I had a vague understanding that Rheumatic Heart Disease was important and I wanted to be a good student, but patients always just gave me a puzzled look and they invariably answered ‘no’. So, over time, I think I just stopped asking. I’m sure I’m not the only one.[i] [/i]Even now, as a cardiology registrar, I don’t really give it much thought. When I see a breathless young patient the diagnosis rarely even crosses my mind and I certainly don’t worry that my own children might one day be affected by the disease. [/p][p]The reality however is that there are currently 15.6 million people worldwide living with the consequences of rheumatic heart disease, the vast majority of whom live in areas with severe social and economic challenges. Whilst we are privileged in this country to be sheltered from this epidemic, in the developing world patients continue to be exposed to the severe effects or rheumatic heart disease. [/p][p]Parents do worry about their children dying prematurely. Young people do develop profound breathless as a consequence of heart failure. Mothers and infants do die during childbirth as a consequence of unrecognised heart disease.[/p][p]This is a tragedy as with early detection and proper treatment many of these devastating complications can be prevented. Detection involves a simple bedside ultrasound scan of the heart (echo scan) which can diagnose early rheumatic changes, even in patients who have not yet developed any symptoms. [/p][p]This year I have therefore decided to volunteer with 'Echo in Africa' a fabulous charity organised by the British Society of Echocardiography. In October I will travel as a volunteer to Cape Town in South Africa, to perform echo screening on school students from rural communities. Identifying the signs of early stage rheumatic heart disease will then allow aftercare and treatment to be provided by the local cardiology team at Tygerberg Hospital.[/p][p]Volunteer programs like this rely upon charitable donations and I would be most grateful if you would consider giving to this extremely worthy cause.[/p]

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Personal Challenge Date

14 Oct 2018


Oct 15, 2018

Anna and Ed

Well done Ben. An awesome thing to do. Hope it is a great experience and makes a difference to all those children. Very proud of you xx

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Oct 15, 2018

Rich Healy

Great work Ben

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 28, 2018


Sep 27, 2018

Paul R

Well done, Ben. Great cause.

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Sep 20, 2018


Great cause. Enjoy the experience.

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Sep 18, 2018


Really impressive Ben, great initiative

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Sep 18, 2018


Good luck Ben

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 18, 2018

Simon Corbett

Well done Ben for taking part in this initiative

£14.00 plus £3.50 Gift Aid

Sep 14, 2018



£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Sep 12, 2018

Bibi G

Good cause

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid