In her blog, Karen thanks the special people and the special place that cared and continues to care for her husband John.

Mine and John's journey with Royal Brompton started in December 2016. Several months earlier we received a phone call from the consultant looking after John at The John Radcliffe Hospital where he had been a patient for about 25 years.

He had concerns over a recent scan, he wanted to refer John to The Royal Brompton as he felt additional expertise was necessary. A daunting prospect…

We met with Professor Cheshire and he talked us through the complex surgery that John would face. John had been concerned that the surgery would not be possible, but Professor Cheshire assured us that although complicated, it was achievable and that along with another surgeon Mr Mireskandari and their team, they would plan to do it in the coming few months.

At the beginning of May 2017, John went into The Brompton for surgery as planned. Professor Cheshire had promised to update me as soon as John’s surgery was over and he did. I was very grateful that such a busy man did this, in fact, he continued to be in touch as John needed repeated visits to theatre both day and night (Professor Cheshire had said this may be necessary) - he was very honest but at the same time very reassuring.

John then required a three-week stay in The Brompton's Intensive Care Unit (ITU). All of the staff in the unit were amazing - the receptionists who had to phone me as John was demanding (during his hallucinations!), the nurses who were always by John’s bed reassuring me and explaining various tubes and machines whilst doing their very difficult and busy jobs.

In total John spent eight weeks in the hospital, progressing from ITU to High Dependency Unit (HDU) and eventually, to the regular ward. So many people were involved in his care and recovery and they were always encouraging us, explaining what was happening and including me in John’s rehabilitation. This included doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and the porters who took John for various scans. There was “sunshine therapy” allowing John to get fresh air during his long stay in ITU during the hot summer of 2017, walks along the corridors and eventually walks out into the park, very welcome for John but very scary for me, (being away from the safety of the hospital ward). 

I could write so much more about what the staff did for John & the many, many people involved in his care, (and indeed in supporting me) but this blog would go on forever!

John was allowed home at the end of June - with a record kept, (in diary form), by the nurses involved in his care on ICU. Just another special and very appreciated touch. We cannot praise Royal Brompton and its staff enough for the amazing world-class care that John has and continues to receive. We know that John will probably require further surgery and though scary we know that he will be in the very best hands.

These are the many reasons why at the end of September 2019 I ran in the Windsor half marathon, (my first) and raised £480 for Royal Brompton. Just a small way for me to say a huge Thankyou to this very special place, a place who has cared for & continues to care for a very special person to me.

If you've been inspired by Karen's story and would like to share your own experience with our hospitals, please get in touch - we love hearing from you!