Cancer patient at North Tyneside General Hospital raises cash for new vein scanner

A new scanner is on its way to North Tyneside General Hospital following a heartfelt plea from a cancer patient.

By Joshua Wright
Monday, 25th July 2022, 2:52 pm
Staff stand alongside Terri (3rd from the right) as they showcase their new scanner.
Staff stand alongside Terri (3rd from the right) as they showcase their new scanner.

Terri Leitch has been receiving chemotherapy treatment for two years and in order for the cancer drug to be administered, an IV line has to be set up. But finding a vein became increasingly difficult for Terri, and the procedure started to cause her great discomfort.

But rather than complain, she decided to share her story on social media and set up a GoFundMe to raise the £4,100 needed for a AccuVein® Vein Finderm.

The device uses special technology to help healthcare professionals find appropriate veins and set up efficient IV access.

After sharing her story on Facebook, donations started to flood in and she managed to raise enough money for a scanner within a week of her plea being posted.

Terri said: "Your veins start to become harder to find and you can end up feeling like a bit of a pin cushion.

“I had been talking to patients from other hospitals in support groups and we got on to how painful it can be, especially as treatment goes on and the veins become harder to find.”

“They mentioned they had been able to access these vein scanners, and that they had been a godsend.

The new vein scanner is used on Terri's arm in order to help with the IV insertion process.

“I just knew I wanted to try to get one for this unit because they’re so great at what they do, and this would make it easier on everybody, both staff and patients."

Regarding the success of the GoFundMe appeal, she added: “I couldn’t believe it. I shared my story on my Facebook with a link to the GoFundMe, and it just took off from there. People were so fantastically generous. It’s fantastic that it not only helps me, but so many others as well.”

Debbie Fearon, oncology unit manager at North Tyneside General Hospital, added: “We can’t thank Terri enough for what she’s done. You don’t know what people’s veins are like until they come, and sometimes they can come for years for their treatment.

“It helps the patients feel as comfortable as they can with minimal pain as we give them treatment, but it also helps staff carry out the process more quickly and get them through their treatment.

"It makes the world of difference.”