REAL LIFE STORIES

Here are stories we have received from local residents and people working in and around the hospital.

Send yours to savesouthendemergency@gmail.com

From Mrs D Petty via email

3 years ago I was shopping in Chelmsford with my sons and my Husband, I had been having problems with blue veins on my chest and a nagging ache in my leg for a few months, the veins when I spoke to my mum were put down to getting old and the ache in the right leg was bearable,  and I had visited the doctors a week before, and after explaining about my chest, as I was about to tell the doctor about my leg, and  was told to go and make another appointment as she only can deal with one problem at a time.  

So I went to the receptionist and made another appointment for 3 weeks’ time. But now shopping I find myself dragging my leg and knew something was very wrong. I asked my husband to take me home to Southend and drop me off at the hospital…Thinking I would have a 5 hour wait, he went home with the boys… I saw the triage nurse and within two minutes I was is Resuscitation unit and I cannot express my thanks and gratitude for the care and attention I received as an A & E patient and I had Two massive blood clots that had broken off of my leg and worked up to my Lungs. 

I know Southend Hospital is the best Blood Hospital in the Country it would be devastating to close A & E Southend is one of the largest towns in Essex and it employs so many of our gifted Students, who are studying to be our future Doctors and Nurses. 

Why can’t we have a council who is proud of our town and want to enhance it, instead of destroying everything that makes Southend Good. I have only lived in Southend for 13 years but I know we have the best Hospital for our town and for the people from babies to the elderly, I have grown to love Southend and the genuine people and it would be so wrong for a few councillors  to have the power to do something so devastating for their own reasons and not for the good of Southend.

Please do not close Southend A & E, just think one day you or your children or wife, husband or grandchildren might just have their life saved because you made the right decision.

From Emma via our Facebook Page

I feel I have to post on this page so the people in power will realise the importance of the Accident and Emergency department in Southend Hospital.

I am currently sitting in the resus bay in Southend Hospitals A and E with my partner who has attended the department more times than I would like as he is epileptic.

The first time he was brought to Southend A and E was in November 2015. He was diagnosed with Viral Encephalitis a life threatening illness. The ONLY thing that saved his life was the quick response from the paramedics and the quick treatment he received at A and E. if he had gone anywhere but Southend A and E he would be dead.

As I sit here tonight I realise again that this department is vital for the people of Southend. As a nurse I know that without the treatment given by the doctors and nurses to my partner he would not be here and neither would other people’s loved ones.

Talking to the paramedics as they brought my partner into resus, I told them that I cannot believe they are actually considering closing or down grading?? the department. The paramedics response “people will die”.

This department is outstanding. It saves lives, it is vital. We must save our A and E.

From Michelle via email

At 9 months old my son suffered his first seizure. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life, I didn’t know what was happening and I thought the worse. I called an ambulance and he was taken to A&E -the ambulance staff and paediatric Staff were incredible.

After this he had a few more seizures after a temperature and was taken to hospital by ambulance each time for checking/treatment.

Then just before his first birthday he went into a seizure but showed no signs of coming out of it. The ambulance arrived within minutes and they tried diazepam but this did not bring him out of it. I knew it was more serious as we went in the ambulance blue lights flashing to A&E, the longest few minutes of my life- but just a few minutes. We were taken straight through and my son was put onto monitors with doctors, nurses and consultants all working together to bring him out of the seizure. He rolled into different types of seizures- his heart was under pressure and I feared for brain damage and for his life. They called an anaesthetist in as they considered incubating him. They tried a cocktail of drugs and finally loaded him with phenytoin and he came out of the seizure. They carried out emergency scans- and during this had shared these with Great Ormand Street for input and advice. Utterly amazing and in awe of their skills and dedication all on my doorstep.

This was all in just over 20 minutes. They saved his life. Had we travelled to Basildon we would not have even been seen. I am sure had that been the case we would have lost him or he would have suffered brain damage.

He has suffered further serious seizures and for other reasons been sent to A&E by GP on various occasions. He is at risk of these seizures which in his case are A typical and more serious up to age 5-6. He is 2. We do not travel anywhere without knowing where the nearest A&E is. The thought of loosing the amazing A&E facility we have on our doorstep and the highly skilled staff is crazy and frightening. Life’s will be put at risk including my sons. No matter what arguments are put forward some cases are time critical. I will be doing all I can to support the campaign and fight the plans.

“First of all some facts, at the age of three months I had a craniotomy and as such any impact or trauma to my head could be seriously harmful.
On the 21st of May 1999 I was in a hit and run/road traffic accident where a car came into me at 45mph (according to a witness statement) I was rushed to Southend A&E and checked over.
My Mum arrived thanks to the Police who had knocked on her door telling her I was at Southend A&E after being involved in a road traffic accident – for a moment she didn’t recognise me due to how bad the injuries must have been on my face, I’d suffered a broken nose, black eye and superficial cuts and bruises – the staff at A&E were concerned when Mum told them how when I was three months old they had to perform surgery for closure of the fontanelles – Thankfully my head was fine as a result of the accident… All the staff at A&E made sure I was in the best hands and I owe them so much so it only feels fitting that on the 20th of March almost 18 years to the day I march to #SaveSouthend A&E
Richard Bennett

“In October 2003 my Mum (Helen) told my sister and I to our faces that she’d been diagnosed with secondary bone cancer and she was told she would probably see that Christmas but not Christmas 2004.

It was just after midnight on a Tuesday in June that I received a phone call from Mum, she had told me she had fallen off the toilet and from what she was saying it was clear she was drifting in and out of consciousness, immediately I called for a taxi to get me to Mums ASAP and did ask him to speed up a bit as thjs was an emergency, he said he wouldn’t go faster. Whilst in the taxi I phoned 999 and a few minutes after I’d got to Mums the ambulance arrived and she was rushed to Southend A&E.

Whilst in the ambulance due to the impending doom of not having much longer left with my beloved Mum and glad that she wasn’t hurt that badly after falling off the toilet but at the same time very upset I began to retch, Mum (from her stretcher) held out her hand to comfort me – once at Southend A&E she was seen straight away, checked over thoroughly especially given the prognosis of bone cancer – and was later discharged… I dread to think of what would have happened if the wonderful NHS staff both the ambulance and those at Southend A&E weren’t there.

It was a few months later Mum fought all she could to stay with my sister and I, her strength was incomparable- a few days before she passed she held onto me with that wonderful smile of hers when I’d gone to see her at home but the emotions of seeing her was too much and to hide my tears at risk of upsetting her I moved my head away, her hand gripping onto her firstborn was a very sweet and powerful moment between us – was a few days later she joined Grandma.

Since then I’ve always fought and done the best I can IN MUMS NAME- this is why come May 20th, proudly… I March In Memory Of My Mum

Richard Bennett

 

My favourite picture of Mum and I when I completed the Southend Bikeathon in September 2003 (she’s 59 in this pic and 19 days away from celebrating her 60th)

Maria her story in a comment on our Facebook page

“The stroke team and A/E have been amazing with my mum due to various strokes. The paramedics have been brilliant doctors and nurses last August my mum had a bleed I don’t know how we would of coped going to Basildon if she would have even survived the journey I stayed at the hospital for her finals weeks that was difficult enough to watch my mum die how can it even be possible to even think about closing A/E”.

Kate from Southend shared her story on our Facebook page

“After my then 62 year old Dad suffered a cardiac arrest at home in 2008, Paramedics arrived quickly and rushed him to Southend A&E. He still had no cardiac output but the amazing staff immediately ‘chilled’ his brain whilst they worked furiously to get a pulse back, which they eventually did.

Without the quick A&E actions to chill the brain and prevent tissue damage, even with getting a pulse and breathing back he would have been brain dead if they hadn’t done this within a critical time frame.

That’s why there MUST be full 24/7 ambulance admission kept at Southend A&E.

He’s seen a daughter married, his grandchildren born and returned to work as a full taxpayer due to their skills. Despite the amazing work of the Ambulance Service too, no Paramedic can chill a brain on the long journey to Basildon Hospital”.

This comment was written by a paramedic on a post on our Facebook page. We want to ensure you all see this, as it is another MASSIVE concern and in fact, probably the issue that may cost more lives than even the actual ambulance transfer to Basildon itself.

“In reality there are so many other things to consider. For example, you have to slow to a crawl for most corners with a patient on board.

Blue lights don’t really shorten the journey time by much. Often critical patients need a slower, smoother journey.

Not sure I’ve ever managed 23 min to Basildon from Southend on blue lights! Let’s not forget the extra time taken getting to a particular patient because we are stuck in Basildon. Or worse still we are held up transferring patients back from Basildon to their local hospital!

This would be at normal road speed and include handover and transfer at both ends – that’s keeping us unavailable for 60-90 minutes”.

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