Double amputee Olympic torchbearer joins Lord Coe to open Great Ormond Street ward

A DOUBLE amputee from Wisbech was on hand to help open a new clinical building at Great Ormond Street Hospital with Lord Sebastian Coe.

Matthew Dawson met the Olympic stalwart and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson at the opening of the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, the first part of the to-be-built Mittal Children’s Medical Centre.

Matthew, who will carry the Olympic torch through Huntingdon next month, was born with significant congenital tracheal problems and suffered from heart failure caused by two holes in his heart.

He underwent a number of operations at the London hospital - surgery in 1995 to repair the two holes and in March, 1998, a double leg amputation.

Hosted by tv star Tess Daly, Matthew was at the opening ceremony to represent the new Clinical Investigations Unit which will house tests which can keep patients out of intensive care following surgery.

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He was nominated to be an Olympic torchbearer by his consultant Dr Colin Wallis because of his “incredible spirit and character”.

Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “Today was an important day for the hospital - for Matthew to be part of it just demonstrates the incredible work we do here.

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“I want to say a huge thank you to Lord Seb Coe and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson for coming down to offer some words of encouragement to Matthew and the other patients.”

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is now focused on raising �45 million to complete the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre, which will see the redevelopment of the cardiac wing of the hospital.

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