If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will probably know that a few days ago I wrote about a friend who was critically ill. He and his wife, Kate, are currently at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, where Gerry is receiving life-saving treatment. Kate is with him and thanks to many generous donations, she is able to stay in the hospital’s nurses’ home accommodation to be close to him.

 

 

The treatment that Gerry is receiving is called ECMO. It saved his life last week, and is keeping him alive whilst his lungs recover. Kate was on Channel 5 news last night, as part of a feature explaining ECMO, and talking about the impact of the flu epidemic. Click here to see the video.

Flu article pic Jan2018
Miracle machine that is saving Gerry

 

Kate also raised the problem of the Emergency Department at Weston General Hospital being closed to emergencies overnight. Labelled as a temporary closure, it has been closed since summer 2017.

If you live in the local area, it is a constant worry. Weston-super-Mare is expanding, but its health services are shrinking. The nearest Emergency Department is well over 20 miles away, so if you are seriously ill during the night, a wait for diagnosis and then treatment is inevitable. This could make a big difference. For example, certain types of stroke are treatable if caught in time – the longer the wait for treatment, the bigger the chance of permanent disability or worse.

How can we continue to help?

Kate and best friend Deb – who is staying with her in London for support – are in awe of the amazing team at the Royal Brompton.Kate and Deb portrait

They would like to raise as much money as possible to hand over to the team and support the cutting edge work they do.

If you’d like to add your support, go to our Just Giving page to donate. It’s simple to do, and will help ensure that ECMO becomes available in more hospitals across the country.

In the meanwhile, if you live in or around Weston-super-Mare and want to influence what happens to Weston General Hospital’s Emergency Department, go to the Healthy Weston online survey and add your voice.

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to comment below.