Ballyclare woman makes donation to thank team behind life-saving facial surgery

Pictured left to right: Dr. Damien Carson, Consultant Anaesthetist, Michelle McCartan, Ward Manager, Mr Declan Lannon, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Eiad Qudairat, Consultant Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeon, Grace Smith, Heather Wilkinson and Cherith Semple, Macmillan CNS.
Pictured left to right: Dr. Damien Carson, Consultant Anaesthetist, Michelle McCartan, Ward Manager, Mr Declan Lannon, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Eiad Qudairat, Consultant Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeon, Grace Smith, Heather Wilkinson and Cherith Semple, Macmillan CNS.

A Ballyclare woman who went through ‘life-saving but life-changing’ cancer surgery in 2004 and 2007 has made a special donation to The South Eastern Health Trust.

The funds were raised through charitable events by Grace Smith and her sister Heather Wilkinson and the pair have expressed appreciation to all those in the Ballyclare area and further afield who contributed in any way.

Grace’s reconstructive surgery commenced in 2014 in the Ulster Hospital under the care of Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr. Declan Lannon and Consultant Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeon Mr. Eiad Qudairat and their team.

Grace’s initial and most challenging and pioneering surgery was performed using bone and skin from her leg. This surgery was meticulously planned using 3D technology.

Grace’s story was featured in the BBC documentary ‘Saved: At the heart of the health service’, broadcast earlier this year. In gratitude for the cutting edge surgery and exemplary nursing care Grace presented a cheque for £8,140 to Mr. Declan Lannon for the Plastic Surgery Fund. A

At the presentation Grace expressed thanks to everyone who contributed generously to the fundraising events. The funds have been donated to help purchase equipment to further enhance patient care in the Plastic Surgery unit. Grace also presented a beautiful framed print entitled ‘Triumph’ by a local artist.

This will be hung in the new in-patient Ward 4C in the Ulster Hospital for the enjoyment of patients, visitors and staff. A Trust spokesperson said: “Grace has triumphed over adversity. She has been a stellar patient and fundraiser. Her tenacity and determination have been admirable throughout her reconstructive journey which is now nearing completion.”