Daredevil Bill, 73, hands over wing-walk donation

December 01 2017
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A PENSIONER from Fishponds has completed a daredevil wing-walk to raise £1,000 as a thank you to surgeons who saved his life.

A PENSIONER from Fishponds has completed a daredevil wing-walk to raise £1,000 as a thank you to surgeons who saved his life.

Bill Quinn, 73, was given just three years to live after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

But - almost 20 years later - the sprightly septuagenarian has completed an intrepid 130mph wing-walk to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

Bill soared through the air at 2,000 feet above sea level as part of his charity challenge to raise money for the appeal. 

He chose the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal as a thank you for the radical neo-bladder surgery he had 19 years ago to treat his bladder cancer. 

Surgeons at Southmead Hospital removed his bladder and created an artificial bladder from a section of bowel. 

Bill, who also did some additional fundraising for another cancer charity, said: "The doctors gave me three years to live and now almost 20 years later here I am!

"I’ve always wanted to give something back and after having a chat in the pub with friends the wing-walking idea came up."

Bill did the 15 minute long wing-walk in Dorset in September and has now presented Southmead Hospital Charity with a cheque for £1,000. 

"I was really excited to do it, there was a little apprehension but I wasn’t scared," he said.

"It was only 15 minutes from take-off to landing but it felt like longer; it was cold and loud but I really enjoyed it.

"I hope to do a skydive for my 80th birthday."

Southmead Hospital is the largest urological centre in the country, treating thousands of prostate cancer patients a year. It is also one of only five centres in the UK to specialise in robotic surgery to treat the disease. 

Robotic surgery is more accurate, less invasive, causes less blood loss, and reduces the length of stay in hospital than traditional surgical methods. Men also have much better long term prospects for a full recovery.

Southmead Hospital Charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal aims to raise funding to purchase two new surgical robots to replace the current, ageing model. 

The second surgical robot would enable the team to treat even more men as well as provide robotic surgery for other types of cancer like kidney, bladder and gynaecological.

Adrian Brown, community appeals manager for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: "Bill’s story is an amazing example of the extraordinary lengths our fundraisers will go to – he is a real inspiration and we are so grateful. 

"The Prostate Cancer Care Appeal will ensuring that Southmead Hospital and Bristol will continue to be at the forefront of urological cancer care and can treat more men like Bill who can go on to do remarkable things."

Find out more about the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal by visiting www.southmeadhospitalcharity/prostate