Last week I fell over in my garden whilst putting out my bins. I lost my footing and fell backwards. I hit my head very hard. I am 93 and live with my husband. He has Dementia and I am his primary carer.

I managed to get up and go into my house. I noticed my head was bleeding profusely and I felt dizzy. My thought was was ‘oh no I take blood thinners (Apixaban). Panic started to set in. I had always been told whilst taking this medication it was very important to get myself into the hospital for checking If I had bumped my head.

I called 111 and all I got time and time again was COVID-19 information. This kept getting repeated. I gave up on that and called 999.

I was told there was a queue for ambulances and my wait time would be around 2-3 hours. A paramedic arrived after 2 hours, in a car. Her name was Kim. She was one of the most helpful people I had ever met. Kim reassured me. She was told an ambulance would have to be sent from Oxford (I live in Princes Risborough). The reason that Kim couldn’t take me is that I needed to be monitored on the way to the hospital.

After around 30 minutes the ambulance called Kim and advised that the ambulance that was supposed to be coming needed to be redirected and they would be sending one from Milton Keynes. Kim remained with me the whole time.

Whilst Kim was here I shared my concern that as my husband has Dementia and I am his primary carer. I could not leave him alone.

Kim said she would do her best to ensure I would get through A & E as quickly as possible. I did not have much faith in this as A & E waiting times are renowned. I was extremely distressed and worried. Kim was excellent she really tried her best and calmed me down.

When the ambulance finally arrived Kim shared my concerns with them. At this point, I had slightly calmed down as my neighbours had said they would sit with my husband whilst I was at the hospital.

When I got to the hospital everyone was well aware of my predicament. I could not believe it. I was rushed through as quickly as possible. I did not wait for anything. Everyone treated me with care and knew my personal situation. The communication amazed me.

At Stoke Mandeville, I had scans and saw a doctor and my head was cleaned and glued. All of this was done within two hours.

The time leaving my house and arriving back could not have been more than three hours in total. I was back safe with my husband.

I felt compelled to share this story to say thank you to the NHS. Everyone from the ambulance service, down to all of the staff at A & E. They all were caring, understanding and communicated so well. It ran so smoothly.

You usually hear negative stories about the NHS. Not this time. I can’t say thank you enough. Thank you to the ambulance staff, thank you to Stoke Mandeville Hospital and thank you, especially to you, Kim.

 

Published on 29 Oct

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