"Thank you for caring for my mother as she was..."

About: Hammersmith Hospital

My elderly mother was brought into A & E on October 22nd, having suffered a massive heart attack. I was telephoned that afternoon at work by the consultant and asked to come in at once. When I arrived, a team of doctors was waiting to see me and to explain that as my mother had been without oxygen for 40 minutes, she had sustained brain damage and it was unlikely that she would recover. Although my mother was on a ventilator, the team did not think that she would survive long without it. They felt that most appropriate treatment in these circumstances was to remove ventilation and allow my mother to die naturally. In such a difficult time, my recollection is of being treated with the utmost gentleness, courtesy, patience and kindness. Each and every doctor and nurse, on what turned out to be an exceptionally busy day in the department, took the time to keep me fully informed of my mother's condition, allowed me to wait several hours for my brother and his wife to arrive before a decision was made, and had repeated conversations with me about what they felt would be the most appropriate, the most dignified and the kindest way to treat my mother. In particular, I would like to thank the consultant and the medical doctor on duty in A &E at the time for their time and kindness in explaining what they felt was the right thing to do at the time. My mother died later that evening without regaining consciousness. Above and beyond the call of duty is the only way to describe how my family and I were treated. I have not been able to find the correct names of the consultants and doctors concerned, but I would like them to know their kindness will never be forgotten. Grateful thanks to all at this wonderful A&E department.

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Response from Hammersmith Hospital

Imperial College Heathcare NHS Trust would like to express our sincere appreciation for your sharing of the experience of care and support you and your family received around your mother's death at Hammersmith Hospital. We really value your kind words and they have been passed on to the staff involved. At such a difficult and important time it is good to know that we provided for your mother and her family the experience we aim to provide. We extend our warm good wishes for the future.

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