A Dartford widow has given her lifesavings to Darent Valley Hospital in appreciation for the "good care" for husband received over five years while her was treated for lung cancer.

The woman, in her eighties, carried out her late husband's request and donated £231,376.61 to the hospital's Cancer Fighting Fund for the purchase of medical equipment.

The widow, who didn't want to be named, said: "He was so appreciative of his care over the years which gave him extra years of good quality life.

"Every doctor and nurse involved in his care did everything they possibly could for him.

"We were so impressed with how they consulted and dealt with him every step of the way - nothing was ever too much trouble.

"I have every faith that the money will be spent wisely to help our excellent hospital treat others with this dreadful disease."

Tracey Cummins, fundraising manager for the hospital, said: "The Charity Board were delighted to be able to meet this lady to personally thank her for this very generous gift and to clarify what his wishes were.

"This will make a tremendous difference and will help save lives.

"The money will enable the purchase of a second Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) and a Pleural Ultrasound machine to benefit lung cancer patients."

Dr Burhan Khan, Respiratory Consultant said: "This is a wonderful gift and will benefit our service to our patients greatly.

"We are one of a few select specialist units in the entire country that can provide these services to patients and I am proud to work for such a forward thinking trust.

"We are truly grateful to this generous donor for enabling us to offer the very best treatment to our cancer sufferers.

Dr Khan explained that the hospital had also been able to buy a magic eye or medical thoracoscope which can be used to surgically drain fluid and at the same time enable the medical staff to examine the outside of the lung and take biopsies as well as pleurodesis which helps prevent fluid from recurring.

He added: "The Pleural Ultrasound machine which will be a tremendous benefit to our patients and go a long way to relieve their unpleasant and quite distressing symptoms of lung cancer.

"We have further developed our lung service further and have since introduced an EBUS scope which looks from inside the lung and windpipe to see if any lymph nodes are showing cancer or not.

"Currently with only one EBUS scope we are limited to the number of procedures we can do each week and with this donation we are now able to introduce a second EBUS which will mean we can treat double the number of patients.

"Before a patient would have to go up to London after a two to three week wait, or alternatively undergo a mediastinoscopy which is an invasive surgical procedure done under general anaesthesia and only in regional Thoracic Surgical Centres like London.

"By providing this service locally, we are able to quickly and safely offer this service here which is more convenient and preferred by patients."