"Gainsborough Stroke Unit - Outstanding!"

About: Colchester General Hospital

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Dear all on Gainsborough Stroke Unit

On 1st January 2013 my grandmother, was brought to your hospital by ambulance shortly before midday. She was later transferred to the Gainsborough Stroke Unit where she spent the final 6 days of her life.

She had suffered a major stroke at her home which had left her partially brain damaged, blind, paralysed, unable to swallow, talk, or communicate. There were no chances of any form of recovery or improvement and sadly family members had to make the most awful heart wrenching decision to no longer provide fluid or nutritional intake and allow her to die peacefully.

Trying to describe in words, what my Grandmother and my family, emotionally and physically went through during those 6 days is virtually impossible. But what I can explain is the exceptional level of care and dignity all of the staff provided for my Grandmother. Although the care and empathy did not stop at my Grandmother, her family were also cared for. All be it a tissue, a cup of tea, a blanket, a gentle smile, keeping us informed, and just being there through times of upset.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge how eternally grateful we all are for every single member of staff that had any form of contact with my Grandmother and her family members during this difficult time. From the rapid response and ambulance crew, the consultant, Doctors, the nursing staff and even the cleaners. Every single one of you allowed my Grandmother to pass peacefully, you really could not have done any more.

I would like to thank the nursing staff that attended to my Grandmother and her family at the time of death in particular. Sadly I do not know their names.

Once again from all of my Grandmothers family... Thank you all and continue what good work you are doing.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

Thanks for contacting Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust. It is always gratifying to read emails like yours and to know that the work of staff in the NHS is appreciated as I know it can be an effort to write at a time like this.

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