Patient’s life transformed thanks to gift to University and local hospitals

VaLS Clinic, funded by gift from philanthropist George Davies, makes a life-changing difference.

A patient has spoken of how her livelihood has been restored after surgeons at a new clinic, funded by a generous philanthropist, were able to save her leg from amputation.

In July 2017 the high-street retail entrepreneur, George Davies, gave a £5.15 million gift to the University of Leicester and Leicester’s Hospitals to help patients with poor leg circulation and reduce amputation rates.

The founder of famous brands such as Next, George at Asda and Per Una at Marks and Spencer provided the money to establish a limb salvage clinic at Glenfield Hospital and deliver a research programme at the University to support the work of the clinic. Professor Rob Sayers from our Department of Cardiovascular Science was appointed to the newly established George Davies Chair of Vascular Surgery and oversees the whole programme.

The aim of the new Vascular Limb Salvage Clinic (VaLS) is to treat patients with circulatory problems faster and more effectively, to prevent amputation. One patient who has had her life transformed because of this clinic is 45 year old Despoina.

Despoina underwent a successful complex lower limb revascularisation operation that involved bypassing the blocked arteries in her thigh and calf with a vein graft. She was discharged seven days after surgery with a well-perfused leg.

Despoina continued: “So far the graft seems to be working fine. I have returned to work which means I can earn money and live my life. I do have difficulty walking so I use a walker. I am so happy that my leg has been saved.”

Alongside the VaLS clinic, a research programme on the causes and treatment of limb loss led by the University of Leicester aims to improve outcomes and reduce delays.