The team in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Royal Derby Hospital have been presented with the Patient Hero Award for January 2020 by a returning patient, whose life they saved after he contracted meningitis.
21-year-old Harrison Monk was admitted to ICU on 23 August 2019 after his sister found him semi-conscious on the bathroom floor with a purple rash on his face, arms and torso. Harrison then spent a month in the unit as he slowly recovered before being discharged in late September 2019.
Nicki Hadfield, Senior Sister on ICU, said: "When he first came in, he was really sick and had multiple organ failure. It was touch and go when he first arrived with us.
"So to see Harrison doing so well is an absolute credit to everyone in the ICU Team who have played a massive part in his recovery. Harrison's attitude and determination and the love and support from his family have helped him to get where he is. It's very satisfying and heart-warming to see him here today."
Harrison said that he has formed a special bond with the team and sees them as a "second family": "To be able to give these amazing people the recognition they deserve is amazing because they deserve so much. They are absolutely amazing and just fantastic people."
Ellamae, Harrison's sister, says that the whole family is indebted to the work of the team: “We owe so much to the ICU staff. We cannot praise them highly enough in their professional, committed approach and their dedication in helping Harrison make a full recovery. Without their amazing expertise and round-the-clock care, we know he wouldn't be with us today.
“I'm also very aware that this is a rare ending to a Meningitis story and I feel so grateful and lucky to still have my brother."
Harrison's parents, Stephen and Tonya, were 800 miles away in France when they received the news that their son was critically ill. They had to make a 19 hour journey back to Royal Derby Hospital and said that when they arrived, the team were compassionate and showed exceptional care to the family.
Stephen said: "It was a horrendous journey. We'd almost reached our next site with the caravan when we received the call from Consultant, Nick Reynolds, telling us that Harrison was very poorly and that we needed to come back.
"I can't say a bad word about anyone. It wasn't just on a professional level that the staff were involved, they made sure they were personally involved and they really felt for Harrison and made every effort to help him recover."
Tonya, Harrison's mum, said that the family will never forget what the team have done for them and for saving Harrison's life: "The gift that the team gave to Harrison was giving him the gift of life back. To be able to thank this team, who I call guardian angels, in this way is just wonderful.
"My auntie worked in the ICU here for 40 years and trained some of the staff who cared for Harrison. You have no idea how much of an amazing job every individual does here until you see this amazing place from the other side, and we will be forever thankful."