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Charity walk allows patient to say thanks for ‘extraordinary treatment’ that saved his life

Brian Gutberlet - Walk For Wards 2022

A Southend man was tested, diagnosed and treated for both a heart condition and cancer in just 11 months, at all three hospital sites across Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Brian Gutberlet, 61, received open heart surgery at Basildon Hospital in June 2021 and chemotherapy treatment after a diagnosis of cancer of the oesophagus in September last year at Southend Hospital. That was followed by surgery to remove two-thirds of his stomach and a portion of his oesophagus at Broomfield Hospital in April this year.

He said: “I shouldn’t be here, but thanks to the skills and professionalism of the surgeons, nurses, doctors and all the staff that looked after me, I am. And now I want to give something back.”

Brian has now signed up to Walk For Wards, a 7km charity walk raising money for Mid and South Essex Hospital’s Charity, as his opportunity to give something back to the wards and departments that saved his life.

Full of nothing but praise, Brian said: “I am so grateful for early diagnosis and treatment on both illnesses. My love and thanks again to staff on Gordon Hopkins and Loury wards in Southend, Chelmer ward and ITU at Basildon and ITU and Heybridge ward at Broomfield. Every one of them are heroes in my eyes.

“I am nothing special, but I have had extraordinary treatment performed by extraordinary people.”

Brian, a former porter at Rochford Hospital, has already raised over £750 for his walk, supporting all those areas that helped him get back on his feet. You can sponsor him here:

Taking place on Sunday 18 September, Walk For Wards is a 7km family-friendly seafront stroll starting from Adventure Island.

The popular annual event welcomes all to join the fun in support of any Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust ward, department or hospital of their choice.

To take part, register free at or by calling 01702 385337.

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