Friday, 17 July 2009

Health care was first rate. A story of excellent treatment.

This is an article written by Julie Marchant who was treated for her AML recently and decided to give credit to the people who helped her through it.

In November 2008, I developed a rash and had been experiencing very high temperatures. I visited two GP's who both diagnosed a hives-like condition. One prescribed me antihistamines and steroids, the other antihistamines and made a referral for me to see a dermatologist. I then saw my own GP, Dr Robert Wicks, still feeling very unwell, but the rash was masked by the steroids I was taking. He prescribed me antibiotics for my presenting infections.
In December 2008, I visited my GP again presenting with this awful rash
h and my health had deteriorated. I was promptly admitted by him to the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) for further investigations. I would like to thank him for that, as his swift actions undoubtedly helped to save my life. I would also like to thank him for his visit to me on Christmas Day I have little recollection of my time in MAU but I do remember a very kind lady whispering in my ear, "We are taking you downstairs to look after you". This lady, I was soon to learn, was Sharon, a member of a true professional team at the Pevensey ward.
I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia with accompanying Sweets Syndrome. I was then to learn Sweets Syndrome is a very rare condition and occasionally accompanies certain malignancies and certainly not an easy rash to diagnose at face value.
I pondered over this diagnosis as I learnt Acute Myeloid Leukaemia can kill within months or weeks if left untreated. The feelings I experienced were uncertainty, insecurity and extreme vulnerability, but I needn't have worried, because my eyes were about to be opened to what really goes on in the DGH and that is not just a few isolated cases of C.diff or MRSA.
I was admitted to the Pevensey ward where my chemotherapy began very quickly. I consider myself to be privileged to have been treated and looked after by the kindest, most dedicated team of professionals for the past six months.
I have now finished my treatment and would like to thank Dr Grace my consultant, a truly honest, popular, humorous dedicated doctor, with boundless energy, who has my highest respect and that of many others deservedly.
Sister Janice Talent played a huge part in my treatment. She is an amazing nurse, who never sits still and no task, however menial, is beyond her – a true team player and a meticulous professional. You have talent Jan and are a huge asset to your team and any patient that is looked after by you is truly honoured.
Thank you to the other nurses. A special thank you goes to Gilbert who has pampered me throughout my endless stays on the ward. Thank you to Mick, Gilbert's colleague, you have been truly kind.
I am now in complete remission and I feel totally secure in the knowledge that should my leukaemia return, that I will be given the very best of care and treatment available, by our very own local ward, the Pevensey ward. You are truly the best!

Julie Marchant
Bembridge R

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