"My wife Joan's stroke care"

About: Colchester General Hospital / General medicine Queen's Hospital (Romford)

(as a relative),

My wife Joan Marion Wells was admitted to Colchester General Hospital at the end of May, with a stroke. 2 days later she was transferred to Queens Hospital Romford, following a further bleed.

She was operated on as soon as she arrived and a drain was introduced and a pressure sensor. She was unconscious for two weeks, on extreme life support. Her blood pressure and brain pressure improved and a tracheotomy was introduced.

Two weeks later, she was transferred back to Colchester General, still unconscious, because Queens Hospital were unable to do any more for her. At Colchester General she was admitted to the Critical Care Department, who took good care of her while she was there.

Eventually, she was transferred down to the Stroke Unit. Although she was still unconscious, we believed she was improving as we could see her eyes moving under her eyelids.

A few days later, Dixon the consultant informed us that Joan had pneumonia and was dying and we should prepare ourselves for the worst. We observed that the NG pipe through which she was being fed, dehydrated and medicated had been removed. The next day, Joan was asked to wriggle her toes if she could hear us, she moved all toes on both feet and repeated this about 5 minutes later. The duty registrar was summoned and he witnessed the same response, his reaction was to have saline solution applied through a subcutaneous drip immediately.

The day after, this saline solution was continued all day, she opened her left eye and we fitted her glasses so that she could focus. The following day, Dixon the consultant advised that the signs had been seen and food, fluids and medication were being restored.

Over the next two months, she recovered use of all limbs and was able to walk with a frame and use the toilet on her own. She was even given a date to go home soon after, on her 68th birthday. However, 2 days before her release date she had a pulmonary embolism and lasted a matter of days, when she died.

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