Aberdeen nurses aiming to raise £7,000 for colleague with cystic fibrosis

Cheryl Dester and her daughter, Darcey.

Nurses at an Aberdeen hospital have launched a fundraising campaign to help buy a vital piece of equipment to help one of their colleagues.

The bid was launched to raise £7,000 for a special vest for fertility nurse Cheryl Dester.

Cheryl, 31, who is mum to Darcey, 2, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when she was six months old.

Already the campaign, spearheaded by Cheryl’s workmates at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, has raised more than £3,400.

The equipment known as “the vest”, aids the clearing of mucus from the chest by separating it from the lungs.

Cheryl, who also wants to hold an annual ball to raise cash for the CF unit in the city, said: “I was never wrapped in cotton wool and the reality of CF was never hidden from me. I don’t mind talking about death, I’m very matter-of-fact about it.

“I’ve been living with CF for so long that it would be strange to treat death as taboo.”

Although a machine is available via the NHS, it can only be used when in hospital and must be shared by fellow CF patients.

Cheryl, who had believed she would not be able to have children, had to spend most of Christmas apart from her daughter, after she was hospitalised due to infection.

And she hopes to raise enough money so she can use her own personal machine at home.

She said: “The vest is controversial in that it doesn’t work for everyone.

“I’m not claiming that the vest is a miracle or that it can save my life. Having used it in hospital, I really felt the difference though.

“My lung function went from 28% to 51%. For someone suffering from CF, that’s pretty amazing.

“I think it’s a combination of physiotherapy, medication and the vest.

Alongside her job at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Cheryl adores motherhood and is determined to see Darcey flourish as the years pass by. She said: “If there comes a time when I am no longer here, I want the ball to be my legacy to Darcey.

“If I can leave Darcey with one lesson in life, I want that to be the joy of helping other people.”

To donate go to: http://bit.ly/2GjRJkQ