"Eternal gratitude from a mother..."
About: Charing Cross Hospital Charing Cross Hospital London W6 8RF
Just as I was leaving a meeting on Fri 27/3, I got a phone call to say that Anuna, my younger daughter aged 25, had had a stroke at work and would I make my way to Charing Cross hospital London. Somehow, I made my way from Reading to the hospital. Upon arrival, I found she was already undergoing brain surgery. My world fell apart. We waited outside the OT. Then the doctor came out to give us details. I just repeatedly asked if she was alright. They firmly and kindly told me Anuna was critically ill. Then gave us details with clarity, such that I remember them all. The next 24hrs would be critical; she would be kept in for as long as it took to find the cause: 25 yr olds should not get a stroke. Then the doctor took us in to see her. What we saw was a smiling, though tired Anuna with no overt signs of paralysis. Sonali had had the trauma of seeing the whole of Anuna’s left side hanging limp and slack, her faced totally distorted. Her relief was immense when she saw Anuna's face had normalised, just 3hrs later. We followed her to Ward 9 North HASU where she remained for the next week. Her care was absolutely impeccable from start to finish, including having a CT scan at midnight on Friday when she began to lose sensation and strength in her left limbs. Though visiting hours ended at 8pm, the staff were empathetic enough to allow Sonali and me to stay till well past midnight. Perhaps I shouldn't put this in the review as the staff might be hauled up - I put it in because they showed that humanity overrides rules when it affects the patient's well being. There was only 1 instance early on where the night nurse wasn't fully aware of her needs - other than that, everyone at every stage was on point. The team continued with their usual care. OT and Physios checked her progress and gave her exercises. Every day, they carried out more tests, determined to seek out the cause of this heinous event. We nicknamed the phlebotomists vampires. At every moment, we felt taken care of, not just Anuna, but our entire family. The doctor visited every day, spending inordinate amounts of time, explaining and answering all our questions and telling us the various stages of the recovery route map. Even the food was of excellent quality with ample choice. I too was offered a ‘secret’ cuppa because I 'had been there a long time'. The intensive tests have revealed a small hole in her heart (PFO) but the doctor isn’t convinced this or the small clot they found in her right groin could be the cause of Anuna's stroke and has ordered a whole gamut of further tests to be undertaken in the coming weeks and months. One week after she had been wheeled in on a stretcher into A&E with her entire left side paralysed, Anuna walked out of Ward 9 North HASU with only a marginal weakness in her left side. The surgical team and her doctor at the Charing Cross Hospital were responsible for this miracle - to them, our family remains eternally grateful.