NHS Employee thanks staff at hospital Trust for saving her life
Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2020 12:03 PM
An NHS employee from Sherwood Forest Hospitals is thanking the Trust after receiving care that has helped her survive Coronavirus.
Karen Stevenson, 43, from Mansfield, who is an Administrator in Radiology at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, came into the Trust with suspected Coronavirus on 27 March 2020. She said: “I had been unwell for a few days at home and hadn’t been able to get out of bed. I had a fever, tight chest and shortness of breath, so I knew I wasn’t right.”
As time went on, on 27 March she asked her husband to call an ambulance as she woke with a fever and struggling to breath, she said: “I can remember going to the Emergency Department and to x-ray, but I can’t remember going to the ward prior to intensive care. My next memory is being told that I would be sedated and ventilated. I called my husband and made arrangements with him in case I didn’t make it through.”
Karen was cared for on King’s Mill Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and can remember waking up on ICU. Karen said: “The care and compassion was exceptional, but I remember little else during this time, it’s all such a blur.”
After 16 days on ICU, Karen was then moved to Ward 43, which is the ward being used to care for patients with Covid-19. She added: “I can remember going onto the ward and I was still on a high dose of oxygen, I was very weak and unable to raise my arms, I was pretty much bed ridden and unable to swallow normal foods and fluids, so I needed a different diet.”
Over the following few weeks, Karen continued to strengthen and was able to walk with equipment and assistance to the bathroom and is now eating and drinking normally and has just come off oxygen.
Reflecting on her time in hospital she said: “The care has been exceptional, all staff from nurses, doctors, carers, therapists and everyone else have been so caring and compassionate. From ED to ICU to ward 43.
“I’m so excited to be going home, I haven’t seen my family for nearly a month and I can’t wait to see my children and husband.
“Being an employee of the Trust and seeing the teams in action makes me so proud of the care delivered by SFH staff and I am immensely proud to be part of that team, delivering care in a kind and compassionate way, with humour and with a smile. It was the little things that I appreciated so much, for instance when I couldn’t lift my arms, nurses came and helped me with my phone so that I could see and speak to my family, I mean, you can’t get better care and compassion than that can you! A nurse on ICU also offered my husband some invaluable advice about keeping a diary every day whilst I have been in hospital, so that they can update me on everything. I think that has helped both them and me and was such a fantastic suggestion.
“Although it`s been difficult for me to not see my family and not being able to physically see each other, the Trust has done a fantastic job of keeping them all informed on updated on my progress. Thank you for all the care and compassion given to me and getting me through this difficult time.”
Karen`s husband John, said: “Whilst it has been a difficult time, especially not being able to see Karen, communication from the hospital has been great, all staff have been really helpful, giving me really good updates and they recommended to ring as often as I wanted to. Staff also asked after me and the family, which I thought was really kind and caring. The fact that nurses on the ward even helped Karen when she couldn’t lift her phone, to hold her phone up and speak with me and see her family on the phone, was care that goes above and beyond.”
Charge Nurse on Ward 43, Justin Wyatt who has been helping to care for Karen said: “It’s so tough when you see patients struggling and unable to see their families at this worrying time, but I am so pleased that our teams have been able to ensure that Karen still got to see and talk to her family over the phone. We do everything we can to make our patients comfortable and to make sure that they don’t feel isolated whilst on the wards. We already have a family atmosphere on the ward as we all look after each other, so I hope that that is coming across to patients too. We wish Karen and her family all the best in her recovery and look forward to seeing her again at work once she is fit, well and fully recovered.”