The Stroke Team on Ward 410 at Royal Derby Hospital have been thanked by a Team UHDB member of staff for going above and beyond when their 24-year-old daughter was admitted on to the ward.
Karlie Hall, a Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist at Royal Derby Hospital said: “On 4 January 2021, I was here at work, and I received a telephone call from an unknown number telling me that my 24-year-old daughter, Jessica, had fallen at home and was awaiting an ambulance. Jessica had no movement in one side of her body, was unable to speak but was conscious.
“This isn't something you expect to hear about a 24-year-old, and I was obviously filled with fear. The ambulance was heading here to the Royal Derby and by the time I had walked around to A&E, Jessica had arrived.
“I think we have all felt aware that if any of our relatives were to be ill during Covid, it would have added implications, but I must admit, knowing your child is the other side of a wall from you, unable to speak, and not being able to be with her, was a real killer.”
After her daughter had been admitted to A&E, she was advised to go home and wait for an update on her daughter condition. Later, a Doctor from A&E called Karlie and told her that her daughter’s MRI had identified a large clot which they hoped to treat by a thrombectomy.
The thrombectomy needed to be performed at Queen’s Medical Centre and time was extremely limited – the procedure had to be done within 6 hrs of onset of symptoms of a stroke and there were not many surgeons that could perform this surgery.
Karlie, Jessica’s mum, said: “We are so lucky that the Stroke team here at the Royal Derby are so amazing. They managed to coordinate everything and get Jessica to the QMC in time for this procedure to be done - I cannot imagine how difficult this must have been, especially during a pandemic, but they did it. The surgery was completed, and Jessica spent a difficult night in recovery. The next day, Jessica returned to the Royal Derby Hospital and was admitted to Ward 410, a stroke ward.
“Visiting restrictions were still in place meaning that I couldn’t see Jessica. The next day the amazing sister on the ward showed such compassion and let me on to the ward in full PPE as Jessica was unable to speak and distressed. When I arrived, I didn't know if Jessica could eat or drink, move or speak, and the thought of this made me fall apart. The receptionist and ward sister were so kind to me, I will never forget that. Being able to see her with my own eyes, to let her know that she hadn't been abandoned and that she would be ok, to explain to her that the country had now gone into lockdown since she had her stroke, and why we wouldn't be allowed to visit her was such an important step in her recovery and ours.”
Jessica spent around 10 days on ward 410. Her consultant understood that she wasn't coping well without her family around her, especially her young daughter, so he allowed Jessica to go home supported by the Early Supported Stroke Discharge Team and organised regular check-ups to monitor her progress.
Karlie said: “From my first telephone call with one of the Consultants on the ward, I was reassured that they would search for the reason why this had happened to Jessica. The things that I had on my mind were all attended to without me even saying a thing. I didn't ever have to chase anything up, we were effectively scooped up and looked after as a family by the team.
“From the initial 999 call, Jessica was screened for a stroke, she was met by members of our amazing stroke team in A&E, and although I couldn't be with her, I knew she was in the safest of hands.
“The pathways were so well implemented, even during a lockdown. From A&E staff, the surgeon, theatre staff, and the ambulance lady who held her hand all the way to QMC, they were all such amazing people.
“Ward 410 understood her needs, they managed to find and support her to use her phone, I must admit, the messages were difficult to decipher but the team knew how important it was for us to have some contact with her and her with us.
Just over a year on from the stoke and Jessica has made a wonderful recovery, still being incredibly supported by the Royal Derby Hospital Stroke Team, including her Consultant, Dr Scott.
Jessica’s mum, Karlie, wrote to our Chief Executive, Gavin Boyle to express her gratitude to the team for going above and beyond for her daughter and their wider family.
Gavin Boyle chose the team as his monthly Chief Executive Award Winners and went to present them with the award personally.
He said, "You truly deserve this recogntion for what you have done for Karlie, Jessica and their family - this is a true definition of exceptional care together - well done to you all."