Media Release

Handiwork fundraising as thanks for saving husband’s life

The wife of an elderly man whose life was saved at the QEH in 2000 took on fundraising for the Critical Care Unit soon afterwards.

And on Friday (Aug 10), Maud Gillen presented the fruits of her labour over the ensuing years – £1,000.

Mrs Gillen was braced to lose husband Joe after he was rushed into QEH with a blocked aorta and blocked femural arteries. He spent three weeks in intensive care and seven weeks in total at the hospital.

The Gillens lived at Sutton St Edmund at the time but now home is in Daniels Gate, Long Sutton. When Mr Gillen – now 86 – was well enough to be left on his own for a while, his wife teamed up with his sister, Vera Smith, to hold sales of handicraft items in nearby village halls. They sold items they had made such as Christmas cards, crackers, peg bags and pinnies.

Mrs Gillen said: “It was a very tough time when Joe was in hospital. I was told that he might not survive, but the staff did an amazing job and gradually he pulled through.

“I started the sales with Vera to raise some money as a way of saying thank you to the unit. We’ve topped it up to £1,000 now and we’re really pleased to hand it over.”

A card club which Mrs Gillen started in the early days of her fundraising is still active today in The Market House in Long Sutton.


Photo caption: Maud and Joe Gillen present the £1,000 cheque to Critical Care Unit staff nurses Agnes Gallego (left) and Dacille Guno.

To download the press release and image click here