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Date: 21 November 2019

Time: 06:33

Image: Former patients of the Critical Care Unit at QEHB

Patients say thanks to Critical Care Unit

Story posted/last updated: 08 July 2019

Patients have been speaking about how their lives were saved by staff on the Critical Care Unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Four long-term patients returned to the hospital, bringing along family members, to say thank you to staff and take part in a study day.

The event, called "Looking after long term critical care patients", was aimed at broadening the knowledge of junior staff nurses.

Patients who attended shared their experiences with an audience of more than 50 staff at QEHB Education Centre.

Dave Timmins, from Walsall, told how he was brought to QEHB last September after suffering heart failure.

He was on the unit for nine weeks. His stay included being in an induced coma for three weeks and having sepsis.

He said: “I just wanted to give something back. Thanks to everyone who knew exactly what they were doing and when they needed to do it. The great thing about it was the constant, constant care.”

Sandra O’Brien, from Kings Norton, was admitted at the end of last year and spent about a month in the Critical Care Unit.

She had suffered a viral infection and she had to be put in an induced coma for nine days.

“Nothing was working. They threw everything at me and at one point was touch and go. I couldn’t walk at one point but they brought me back.”

Liz Sloan, from Redditch, suffered a massive allergic reaction with a potentially-fatal rare skin disease called TENS Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). She lost her skin and was in the CCU for six weeks and also on the burns unit.

She has since recovered to go on to work to support the QEHB charity.

She recalled: “The staff were absolutely fantastic. The care level was absolutely superb, they were very compassionate and I am extremely grateful. They were fantastic at putting me at ease.”

Christopher Cook, who lives in Stourbridge, had cancer of the oesophagus and was admitted for 27 days in May last year. He was in an induced coma for most of time and said he could not remember much about his ordeal but wanted to attend to say thanks to help the nurses.

The study day also had sessions on holistic care, nutrition, rehabilitation, delirium and workshops.

Shaun Badger, the main organiser of the study day, said: “The patient experiences were very powerful and hit home to the audience, which rounded off a successful and fantastic day.”

Colleague Ruth Parkes added: “Thank you to all that took part. This study day was the first of its kind and due to its success we hope to run it again next year.”

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