Sheepdog experts quite literally ‘flocked’ to help a hospital charity raise money.
Mum-of-two Lisa Huddleston, who underwent lifesaving heart surgery at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, last year took the unique steps of donating the proceeds of a lamb sale to the hospital’s Blue Skies Hospital Fund’s Heart of Hold Charitable Fund.
And now she has raised even more for the cause by holding two sheep dog trials, with the latest one being on Wednesday.
Lisa, who lives in Wray, near Lancaster, and has a sheep and cow farm with husband, Andrew, and their two children Harry, nine, and Anne Marie, five, said: “This to help patients on the ward I was on, and it’s just to show we are grateful for what they did for me.”
The first trial was organised by Richard Hutchinson, a national champion in the sport, and raised £285.
Fifty dogs and handlers ran a course on Lisa’s field, starting when it was light enough to see and finishing at around 3.30pm.
Two judges from Wales decided the winner, scoring the trial out of 100. Richard won with a score of 91. The total cash raised in the second trial, which also saw food and drink on offer, was not yet known. Richard offered to help after hearing Lisa, 36, has sold the six-month-old Swaledale lamb last year.
“I expected this lamb to sell for about £80-£120,but the first bid was £100 and she was quickly bid up to £400,” Lisa said. “I would never have expected it to sell for so much, andI think it only did because people knew it was for charity. When it got to £200 I started to get upset and when it reached £400 I was just overwhelmed.”
Lisa said her donation was in thanks to the care and treatment provided by the cardiac centre, especially cardiothoracic surgeon Andrew Duncan.
Last May, the staff nurse was diagnosed with an Anomalous Left Coronary Artery arising from the Pulmonary Artery –a condition which means there was deoxygenated blood in her heart.
“The condition affects one in 300,000 – 90 per cent of whom die in their first year unless they are treated. It’s extremely rare to see it untreated in an adult, yet Lisa had no idea there was a problem until the end of last year.”
Mr Duncan said he was thrilled to hear Lisa was recovering well following the surgery last July. He added: “This is certainly an unusual way of raising money but we are extremely grateful for Lisa’s generous donation.”