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Lymington Hospital gym opens after £20,000 donation from Michael McCabe

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A STATE-OF-THE-ART physiotherapy gym has opened at Lymington hospital after a former patient who nearly died donated £20,000.

Dr Michael McCabe, a member of the New Forest Runners, spent a month there in 2016 after becoming seriously ill with polyarteritis nodosa (PANS).

A keen marathon runner, Michael is now back to 10km events, despite being left with just 20% kidney function.

From left, Arthur England, Susan McCabe, Michael McCabe, Dr Brian Davidson and Alaine Brooks (photo: Steve West )
From left, Arthur England, Susan McCabe, Michael McCabe, Dr Brian Davidson and Alaine Brooks (photo: Steve West )

The new £27,000 facility, which will be named the McCabe Gym in his family’s honour, was officially opened by Dr Brian Davidson, consultant rheumatologist at University Hospital Southampton, whose treatment in 2016 saved Michael’s life.

Michael came forward with the £20,000 after an appeal by lead hospital physiotherapist Alaine Brooks and League of Friends co-chair Arthur England.

The donation was boosted by £5,000 in gift aid and a further £2,250 from another donor, paying for a range of equipment for patients and staff, which was sourced by his brother Andy, the former director of operations at Greenwich Leisure.

Speaking at a launch event on Tuesday, Michael said the donation was made in memory of his late parents Dr Edmund McCabe, an NHS ophthalmologist, and Eliz McCabe, an NHS occupational therapist.

He said: “My late parents enjoyed long and happy careers in the NHS. I received fantastic treatment over several years for a life-threatening condition and the NHS got me back on my feet and able to take up running again as a keen member and former president of the New Forest Runners.

“When I saw this campaign, I immediately contacted Alaine to find out how to support the Friends’ appeal. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to say thank you to the NHS for my own recovery and to make this donation in memory of my parents, recognising their long careers in healthcare.”

The new equipment allows patients to benefit from specially tailored exercise programmes. It will also be available for hospital staff outside of patient hours.

Mr England said: “The work of the Friends can only take place with the help of donations from the public and it has been tremendous to meet Michael and to work with him and Alaine to create this modern facility to improve patient care.

“I’m pleased to see that the gym can also become a valuable healthcare benefit for the staff at Lymington too.

“We are working with the hospital on several new projects and welcome your help by becoming friends of the hospital and making donations to support new facilities.”

Visit www.lymingtonhospitalfriends.org

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