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Award-winning patient charity launches new Aortic Dissection website

Posted on 27th November 2023

Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland, the UK's Best Specialist Patient Support Charity 2023, has launched a brand new website designed by a team of patients, relatives and healthcare professionals, all active members of the charity.

Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland was named "Best Specialist Patient Support Charity UK 2023" in the international Non-Profit Organisation Awards.

Award-winning patient charity launches new Aortic Dissection website

The charity's new website brings together all of their patient-centred activities and information into a valuable online resource about aortic dissection. There are dedicated sections for patients & families, healthcare professionals and research, as well as aortic dissection news, events and resources.

In keeping with the charity's values of "Led by patients, for patients", the website design was led by an aortic dissection survivor, Stephen McIver, a professional website designer. In 2018, Stephen's life was saved by Miss Debbie Harrington and the specialist Aortic team at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital after an acute Type A aortic dissection. Now recovered and back at work, Stephen led the charity team of patients, relatives and healthcare professionals in a 6-month project to design and launch the new website.

Members of the team include seven other aortic dissection survivors: Dan Burgess, Gordon McManus, Mark Lewis, Sarah Nuttman, Cliff Grover, Stefan Paudler and Gareth Owens. The patient stories and news items were put together by Janine Nieto, daughter of an aortic dissection survivor. Charity Trustee and bereaved relative Peter Hill, whose late wife Linda was a long-standing and much-loved member of the patient charity, provided valuable ideas and advice for the development of the pages for bereaved families. Another Trustee, Karen Cunningham, partner of an aortic dissection survivor, provided feedback on the website from a relative's perspective. The content of the dedicated section for healthcare professionals was developed with and overseen by Mr Vipin Mehta, Consultant Aortic Surgeon at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. 

Chair of Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland, Gareth Owens, said: "the Trustees commissioned this website re-design to increase the reach of our work online and to ensure that our digital presence reflects our unique mission and values, as the national patient charity for aortic dissection. The team has done a great job of capturing everything that we do in a modern, vibrant, friendly and informative website which also reflects who we are as a charity and our specific focus on helping those affected by aortic dissection. We are very grateful to Stephen for his leadership and expertise and to all of the team members who worked under his guidance to create this fantastic new website."

The address of the new website is