‘Difference between life and death’: Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital launch appeal for equipment to revolutionise brain surgery

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital has launched an appeal to secure a new scanning suite that will revolutionise brain surgery at the hospital.

The intra-operative MRI suite (iMRI), which will give surgeons a real-time view of the brain while they’re still at the operating table, will cost approximately £4million.

The hospital’s neurosurgeons currently rely on MRI scans taken before surgery to guide them to the area of the brain requiring treatment.

Sometimes scans need to be taken during surgery, which means the risky process of moving a child out of theatre to be scanned in another part of the hospital.

Professor Stavros Stivaros, Head of Paediatric Neurology, says this equipment would save lives.

“Sometimes during an operation the appearance of the brain might change,” he said.

“This new scanner will give us the capability to save even more children’s lives. It will mean that we can do all of the scanning while the child is still on the operating table, in a safe, sterile environment.”

The appeal is backed by Charlene Le Blanc, whose daughter Ava was diagnosed with a brain tumour four years ago and was treated at the hospital.

“To put it bluntly, this machine could be the difference between life and death,” she said.

“This new suite of equipment for brain surgery will make the world of difference to children like Ava, and her own journey would have been very different had the hospital had an iMRI scanner then.”

Every year, thousands of children and young people from across the region come to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for specialist neurological treatment, many of whom will require complex brain surgery for a range of debilitating and life threating conditions including brain tumours, traumatic brain injuries, problems with the central nervous system and epilepsy.

Over the next two years the iMRI Appeal will take much of the focus of the Charity’s fundraising, as they look to rally support from the whole of the North West.

Chairman of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charitable Fundraising Board, Maurice Watkins CBE, says every penny counts.

“The cost of the new iMRI scanner is £4million. However, it cannot be emphasised enough that small donations are as valuable as larger donations,” he said.

“By supporting this appeal and helping us to equip a state-of-the-art iMRI suite, you will not only be supporting your own local family and friends, you’ll help our hospital maintain our world-class status as a centre for neuroscience and help children from all over the country, and even the world.”

To learn more about the iMRI Appeal and to get involved visit and to donate now text IMRI00 (£AMOUNT) to 70070.

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