Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 14-09-17

Children’s Theatre Recovery Area Refurbished


Paediatric theatre recovery area in RDCEC.

Friends have paid for the refurbishment of the theatre recovery area at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre in memory of former Director Tony Willoughby.

In July 2015 we reported the sad news of the passing of Tony Willoughby, who was Director and in charge of Friends of Moorfields for more than 11 years, until he retired in 2011.

Tony left the Friends in great shape, with strong, committed volunteers; a large database of Friends; a great staff team and significant unrestricted reserves in the bank, making Moorfields Friends one of the most effective friends’ organisations in the country.

Tony took the time to really get to know people, and taught us the importance of being there and ready and willing to drop things and talk to whoever puts their head around the door. He always ensured that all who offer their time to help the hospital feel that they too are getting something out of the experience. A principle Friends continue to adhere to today.

In recognition of all that Tony meant to Friends, and everything he did for the hospital The Trustees of Friends of Moorfields¬†have decided sponsor a long term memorial in¬†his name. Tony was very involved in fundraising for¬†the building of the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre and Friends have¬†supported the paediatric teams in many ways since it’s opening 10 years ago.

Last year around 1,600 children were admitted to the paediatric day-care ward for eye surgery; the surgical pathway takes them through the anaesthetic room, theatre and to the recovery room where they are joined by their parents before returning to the ward for the final stage of recovery.

Some young patients can be fearful of medical equipment, fearful of separating from their parents and anxious about these strange, impersonal surroundings.

The recovery room is an essential part of the journey from the operating theatre to the ward; this period of recovery from anaesthesia can be one of the most memorable periods during a child’s admission for surgery. For this reason¬†Friends Trustees felt that a suitable tribute to Tony¬†would be¬†paying for the refurbishment of this area with large, wall mounted photographic panels on three of the four recovery room walls and on¬†two mobile screens.