A team of Ophthalmology Consultants at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, including eye doctor Alastair Denniston and his blind brother, Richard Denniston, are ditching their scrubs in favour of cycling vests and helmets to cycle 100 miles in one day at Velo Birmingham, to raise money for the official hospital Charity.
Alastair, an Ophthalmology Consultant who has worked at QEHB for five years, is one of five cycling enthusiasts from the Ophthalmology department who will join QEHB Charity’s team at Velo Birmingham. His career choice was inspired from a young age by his brother, Richard, who has been blind since shortly after birth and who will join Alastair and his colleagues on the ride.
Alastair said: “I have always been very aware of how precious sight is. To train to be an Ophthalmologist is a long road, but it is definitely worth it. I get to help save people’s sight on a daily basis – how good is that!”
The 42-year-old, who lives in Harborne, Birmingham, with his wife Sarah and two sons Arran and Ewan, helps to diagnose disease and provide treatment for patients who have problems with their eye sight.He explained: “Like other parts of medicine, the job is to first be a detective and then to provide the treatment.
We have to ‘join the dots’ connecting the patient’s symptoms with the subtle changes that may be occurring in the eye. Because so much of the eye is transparent, we can see right into it. Thanks to QEHB Charity we now have such high resolution equipment that we can see down to a thousandth of a millimetre within the eye. This state-of-the-art equipment means we can detect disease earlier and treat people with confidence.”
Along with his brother, Alastair will be joined by staff from the Ophthalmology department at QEHB, including Tim Matthews, Andrew Jacks, Simon Dulku and Mike Burdon, who will all join 15,000 thousand others, many of whom are raising money for QEHB Charity, at Velo Birmingham; a 100-mile closed-road bicycle race that is coming to the second city on Saturday 24 September.
Alastair said: “We have a wonderful eye department at QEHB – everyone is very committed. Over the last few years QEHB Charity has helped us buy £300,000 of the most advanced laser and imaging equipment to help us care for patients. We are committed to working with the Charity to raise money so that we can continue to provide world-class treatment here in Birmingham.”
To sponsor the Ophthalmology team, please go to www.justgiving.com/QEHBEyeAppeal