Patient Elizabeth sheds her locks in aid of hospital radio

A PATIENT at the Western General has raised around £1500 for hospital radio without even leaving her bed – by having her hair shaved off.

Elizabeth Duncan, 57, from Stockbridge, has been in the hospital for four weeks and said that during her stay, Red Dot Radio had become a lifeline for herself and fellow patients.

She decided to raise funds for the charity with a drastic haircut after noticing her locks were getting tangled from so much time in bed.

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Mrs Duncan, who is a clerical assistant at The Flora Stevenson Primary School, said: “My hair was shoulder-length and I was suffering from a dreadful hospital affliction I call ‘pillow hair’ – just from being in bed a lot and not getting out of bed, my hair was a bit of a tangle.

“Because I’ve been here for four weeks I’ve become a big fan of Red Dot Radio. It’s become quite a social event, because not only do we get our records played but we get quizzes on music and trivia and people get together to listen and pass requests to each other on different wards.”

She said she particularly appreciated the long hours put in by volunteers. “I realised that I wanted to do something for them because they’re volunteers and many of them have full-time jobs, but they’re coming round the wards collecting requests at the Western, the Royal Victoria and the ERI at six o’clock, and they actually broadcast between seven and 10 but when 10 o’clock comes they then go back round the wards to give out the prizes people have won. It’s amazing what they do.”

Her friends and family gathered at Mrs Duncan’s bedside for Friday night’s big haircut, which she said had been a great success: “My hair has been razor cut to a number four. I didn’t want it to be too short and feel too prickly. It feels great to be honest, and I wish that I’d let my hairdresser have his way with me sooner.”

She said she had been amazed by the generosity of her supporters. “I was absolutely gobsmacked. On the night there was over £1200 donated, but that’s gone up, there’s more coming in and people have been texting the station – the expected total is easily £1500. I’ve had the most amazing support from family, friends and work colleagues.”

Mrs Duncan, who is in hospital for a lengthy course of treatment, hopes the money she has raised from donations will help more people to be able to enjoy the radio station during their stay in hospital.

“Initially I was in a bay with four women and we had one headset between us, so it was a bit difficult to hear all your requests and we were passing the headsets back and forth between us.”

Station spokesman David Stirton said: “It went really well. Elizabeth’s been a star. She’s raised an awful lot. I was there on Friday evening and she took it all in her stride.”

To donate £1 text DOTT13 £1 to 70070.