Donation to heart appeal for local hospital

Posted by fi17 at Dec 21, 2011 10:43 AM |
Local family supports University of Leicester Cardiovascular Research Centre
Donation to heart appeal for local hospital

The family of Nigel Watkinson present a cheque for £2,612.11 to Professor Nilesh Samani to benefit the University of Leicester Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal in his memory

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office, 21 December 2011

A cheque for £2612.11 raised in memory of a heart attack victim has been presented to the University of Leicester in support of an appeal for a state-of-the-art heart research centre at Glenfield Hospital.

The presentation was made to Professor Nilesh Samani in memory of Nigel Watkinson, who suffered a fatal heart attack whilst playing cricket for Blaby Village Cricket Club in October this year.

The cheque was presented to Professor Nilesh Samani at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, by the Watkinson family.  Nigel’s wife, Mrs Justine Watkinson of Whetstone and her brother, Nick Doyle of South Wigston, were joined by other members of the family and Alison Dalton of W Heighton & Sons Funeral Directors at the presentation.

In August the University launched the public phase of its appeal to raise the final £1million required to complete and equip the Cardiovascular Research Centre (CRC). The new £12.6 million research centre will impact radically on both the scale and quality of research and treatment of cardiovascular disease all over the UK. 

The University has committed over £6 million of its capital resources to this major project and the British Heart Foundation has provided flagship funding for the Centre.

Cardiovascular disease is the UK’s biggest killer.  It causes 1 in 3 deaths in this country and kills over 198,000 people in the UK every year.  Each day, in the East Midlands alone, 9 people die prematurely of heart disease and every 6 minutes somebody dies of a heart attack.

Justine Watkinson said: “We are so grateful for the generosity of everyone who has donated and we are pleased to be able to support such an important Appeal.  The research which will be carried out at the new Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital will help other families with loved ones affected by cardiovascular disease and those people susceptible to heart attacks.  My whole family are just so pleased to be able to do something positive following such a difficult time and Nigel would have been proud of our achievement”. 

Consultant Cardiologist Professor Nilesh Samani is Head of the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, where he holds the prestigious British Heart Foundation Chair in Cardiology.  He is a Leicester alumnus and one of the foremost researchers in cardiovascular genetics in the world.

Professor Samani said:

“The state-of-the-art Research Centre will undertake world leading research in heart disease and further Leicester's reputation as an internationally acclaimed centre of excellence in cardiovascular research.”  

Ave Vinick, Deputy Director of Development at the University, said: “We are delighted by the tremendous support that the Watkinson family and their friends have shown towards the Appeal.

“The £12.6m Cardiovascular Research Centre, which is due for completion in July 2012, will enable more people with a susceptibility to, or suffering from, cardiovascular disease to benefit from greater understanding, prediction, treatment and care. 

“The new Research Centre will radically transform the scale and quality of research undertaken into cardiovascular disease and seek to improve the health and life expectations of thousands of patients and the general public in Leicestershire, across the UK and worldwide.”


For more information on the CRC Appeal please contact Ave Vinick at University of Leicester on 0116 252 2176 or email

To support the CRC Appeal and for further information, please contact:

The Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK, Tel: +44(0)116 223 1071, Website:


Notes to Editors: Further details are available from Ave Vinick, Deputy Director of Development, Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2176, email

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