Princess Eugenie is embarking on a new role as Patron of a charitable appeal to raise £15 million for the world-class, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), which saved her from a disfiguring back condition.
Speaking at the official launch of the RNOH Redevelopment Appeal, Princess Eugenie said she was delighted and proud to accept the patronage, her first, following a successful operation to treat scoliosis at the hospital when she was 12.
“I am living proof that the hospital can and does transform lives. Without the care I received at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital I wouldn’t look the way I do now; my back would be hunched over,” she told guests, including racing driver Damon Hill at the St. James’s Palace launch.
As patron of the RNOH Redevelopment Appeal, Princess Eugenie said she hoped to become a role model for fellow sufferers undergoing treatment for scoliosis, which causes curvature of the spine, and support efforts to provide facilities and equipment benefitting the hospital’s reputation as one of three leading specialist centres in the world.
One of the fundraising priorities is to build an accommodation unit for the families of children being treated at the hospital which will be named Princess Eugenie House.
“I am particularly proud to lend my name to this project as I have seen how important family support is for children undergoing prolonged and often traumatic treatment for life-threatening conditions like bone cancer,” said Princess Eugenie, who is in her final year of an English Literature, history of art and politics degree course at Newcastle University.
HRH the Duke of York, Patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, joined his daughter in supporting the redevelopment appeal, praising the expertise of surgeons and hospital staff who currently work in a series of 100 year old buildings and a collection of Portakabins and Nissen huts on the Stanmore site in Middlesex.
The RNOH has secured funding for a new and basic NHS hospital on the site. The Redevelopment Appeal is tasked with equipping it with the very latest equipment – including two £1 million MRI suites – with additional facilities like The Graham Hill House for the rehabilitation of patients with spinal injuries.
The combined cost of Princess Eugenie House and The Graham Hill House is estimated at £5 million.
Chairman of the RNOH Redevelopment Appeal, Mr. Mike Thompson, OBE, who is Chief Executive of leading UK childcare provider, The Childbase Partnership, said: “It is impossible to remain unmoved by patient stories of lives transformed by the hospital; or to ignore what might be possible if its dedicated professionals were given the right facilities and equipment to continue and develop their pioneering work. With this appeal we have the opportunity to make a real difference to thousands of lives.”
Further information about how you can donate to the RNOH’s Redevelopment Appeal is available at www.rnohcharity.org/.