2016 - Heart Trust celebrated 30 years
In October 1986 three Hutt doctors, Robert Logan, Stewart Mann and Bill Luey got together with leading Hutt community members and agreed to form a trust “To raise and maintain a fund, the purpose of which is to assist in the purchase of equipment for the care and investigation of cardiac patients at Hutt Hospital.”
On 15th September 2016, trustees past and present together with doctors, nurses and other invited guests met for an anniversary dinner to celebrate 30 years of fundraising by the Hutt Valley Heart Trust. The principal speaker at the dinner was one of the founding trustees, Dr. Stewart Mann.
Stewart first arrived from England in 1986 to take up an appointment as the hospital’s first full time cardiologist. At that time, the three doctors and others were concerned that there was no echocardiography at the Hutt and heart patients requiring specialised treatment were being sent to Wellington Hospital for treatment. They decided it was time to remedy the situation.
Retired Town Clerk Ron Deal was elected the first chairman of the Trust and other interested people joined the Trust Board. They launched a campaign in April 1987 to raise $150,000 to purchase the necessary equipment. New Zealand cricketer, Ewen Chatfield, agreed to front the campaign and posters showed Ewen being given an echocardiogram by a newly trained sonographer. Talks were arranged with Rotary and Lions clubs and there were radio interviews to highlight the need to have this sophisticated equipment installed in the Hutt Valley.
In a major publicity effort more than 1500 shoppers at Queensgate Mall paid for echo scans performed by the hospital doctors and technicians. This raised over $11,000. Another first for Doctors Mann and Logan was when they donned their white uniforms and did a bucket collection in the bar-room at the Petone Working Men’s Club. This event added over $500 to the funds and later the Club organized a Gala Day that produced another $12,000. Charitable trusts and Hutt based companies together with sports clubs, Rotary, Lions and many individuals made substantial donations. A very substantial donation from Robert Jones Investments doubled the funds and enabled the purchase of the scanner in July 1987 at a cost of $173,335.62. The machine was installed and on the first day provided Dr. Mann with the means to diagnose a patient with a serious heart defect that required emergency surgery. This was successful and the patient made a full recovery.