Sir Bobby visit to Glasgow

Sir Bobby visits University of Glasgow project and meets Eva the dog

Find A Better Way founder Sir Bobby Charlton visited the University of Glasgow on Wednesday 14 February to see first hand the synthetic bone project the charity is funding there.

The project was originally launched in December 2016 at a signing ceremony at Find A Better Way headquarters in Knutsford, but this will be Sir Bobby’s first chance to meet the full team, and see the labs where the work is taking place.

The project has been making headlines since it began, but media coverage became especially intense when an early version of the technology was used to save a dog’s leg from needing amputation last Spring.

Veterinarian William Marshall from the University’s Small Animal Hospital contacted the project’s lead researchers Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez and Prof Matt Dalby soon after the project was announced. Marshall was treating a young Munsterlander named Eva with a broken leg, and following a series of complications amputation was the only option available using conventional medicine. Although not a planned stage in the project’s development, the three worked together to try and save Eva’s leg. The results were extremely successful, and Eva is expected to live a normal, happy life as a four-legged dog.

Among the many people he met for the first time on Wednesday were Eva and her owners Fiona Kirkland and Graeme Mitchell. Now an experienced media pro, Eva was on top form and more than happy to pose for photographs for the assembled press.

The full project the Glasgow team are working on combines several technologies to produce ‘off the shelf’ bone tissue. The aim is create bone of any shape and size that can be stored and shipped for use around the world. Bone is one of the limiting factors in the treatment of landmine blast survivors, and when too little bone survives to fit a leg or arm prosthesis this can severely limit quality of life. Along with other uses, it is hoped the project’s synthetic bone will provide reconstructive surgeons with more options, and for landmine blast survivors to be less likely to be confined to a wheelchair.

Speaking of his visit to Glasgow Sir Bobby says, “I am very proud that Find A Better Way and the University of Glasgow are working together to do so much good for people in so much need. It has been wonderful to meet the scientists making this possible, and of course wonderful to meet Eva who has given us a glimpse of what will be possible in future.”