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Care during the coronavirus pandemic at PAH: Eileen’s story

Health / Mon 8th Jun 2020 at 03:36pm

Patient story: care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

OUR amazing people at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) have responded to the demands of coronavirus (COVID-19) with extraordinary energy, effort, and dedication to our patients.

We have transformed the way that we provide care in the last few months to ensure the safety of our patients and our people.
Alongside caring for our patients with coronavirus (COVID-19), we have also continued to provide safe, high quality urgent care for all of our patients.

Patient Eileen Kay, 73, a retired management development manager from Elsenham, has shared her story and words of thanks with the teams at PAHT for the treatment she recently received during a serious illness.

Eileen said: “I had a bit of indigestion and I had been to the doctor. I have now been told I had severe diverticulitis (a digestive condition that affects the large intestine) which led to peritonitis (inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen). I don’t know what caused it. I was well before, I was fit as a flea, I gardened, did aqua aerobics and swam, and I was a full-time carer for my husband before he died last year. I had no reason to expect this may happen.

“I don’t remember a thing. I’m given to understand that I called an ambulance on 5 April. The next thing I knew I woke up in acute care weeks later, it was a total shock. I had had a tracheotomy and couldn’t speak. I understand that I went for surgery on the day of admission and was then ventilated for 24 days, and spent over four weeks in intensive care.

“The care was really, really good. My surgeon, Helen Pardoe, kept looking in on me and all the staff were brilliant.

“I was in The Princess Alexandra Hospital for a further two weeks until 18 May, when I was transferred to continue my rehabilitation at Saffron Walden Community Hospital.

“I’m very happy and very lucky to be alive – it was a life-threatening situation.”

Miss Helen Pardoe, consultant colorectal surgeon at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Eileen was admitted with a serious surgical problem of perforated colon. She was in the theatre suite for many hours with a complex anaesthetic, underwent major surgery of more than four hours with us all in full personal protective equipment (PPE), spent weeks in the intensive care unit (ITU), was ventilated, sedated, and then on the ward recovering with the team.

“While we continue to care for our patients with coronavirus (COVID-19), we are also providing high quality care for patients with a range of life-threatening illnesses and conditions. We were all extremely pleased to see that Eileen has made an excellent recovery and send our best wishes.”

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