Cardiac doctor swims English Channel for Bristol Children's Hospital

Tuesday 7th August 2018

A 63-year-old cardiac doctor has completed a swim across the English Channel to raise £20,000 for pioneering technology for hospital patients.

Prof Andrew Wolf finished the 21-mile swim at about 18:00 BST, some 13 hours after he set off.

He was raising money for a 3D bio-printer at Bristol Children's Hospital, which he said would "transform" the lives of babies and their families.

The swim had to be postponed for two days due to the weather conditions.

Before he set off, Prof Wolf said: "The bio-fixing which we are working towards will allow children to have one-off operations with their own stem cells so they will not have to have repeated operations as they grow into adulthood.

"I want to see Bristol being right at the forefront of this development with a new cutting-edge service which will have a huge impact for young cardiac patients across the region."

Prof Wolf is retired from clinical work but first came to Bristol in 1995 to set up the paediatric cardiac surgical unit.

The team operates on more than 400 critically ill children and babies from the south-west of England and Wales each year.

The printer will be one of the first in the UK and will enable "bio-printing", where a patient's own stem cells are used to make individualised tissues that grow with the person after surgery.

Nicola Masters, director of the hospital's Grand Appeal, said: "Andy's dedication, compassion and drive to help us embed this new service in Bristol Children's Hospital is nothing short of astounding."


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