"My dad's hip replacement"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My dad is 58 years old truck driver from Slovakia, travelling all around the EU. His truck broke down after collecting a load in Devon on his way to France so it had to be towed to a local garage near Exeter. When they pulled at the garage, my dad got out of his truck not realising that the front axle was still lifted by the tow truck resulting in stepping into the void. My dad found himself on a tarmac in pain on his left leg not being able to move. Fortunately, there was the tow truck driver seeing what happened and calling an ambulance right away. My dad had his mobile phone in his pocket so he called me to help him as he doesn't speak English. He ended up in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Durbin Ward.

What happened there was well beyond my expectations. Every time I got a phone call from a doctor, nurse or anyone else involved in my dad's case I was treated friendly and professionally. I know it's a hospital so they don't have time for any long conversations, which is why they were sometimes brief, but clear and to the point and I absolutely appreciate it. Because my dad doesn't speak the language, it was difficult on both sides so they called me to help with translation whether it was for some questions or information or when the physiotherapists helped my dad to exercise. That was a fun one even though a bit painful for my dad so I heard a lot of groaning and giggling at the same time :)

Fortunately, I currently study in Norwich, UK, so it was a bit easier to come to visit my dad after his operation. He was obviously in very good hands. Regardless of the pain, he felt good and well taken care of. He said so himself. Even with the language barrier, the nurses did such a good job taking good care of him.

I met the surgeon operating my dad on a hallway, clearly very busy running somewhere. I don't even know how she knew who I was, but as she walked by, she just told me that the operation of my dad went well without any complications and he'll be well soon. The way she said it was so cheerful and full of energy, I couldn't believe what just happened, but she put me well at ease. I could virtually see the smile under the face mask she was wearing. You don't expect such positive energy from a person constantly under stress working their ass off for others.

Then I met the main nurse, doctor and other nurses. All the worries in my head went "puff". So much was happening around and yet they managed to speak to me, attend to my dad and everything was just working like a clock.I do some activism for equality and sign a lot of petitions here in the UK. They are often about NHS.

This was my second experience with the NHS. One in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital a year ago and now the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. Both hospitals proved me that fighting for NHS by signing petitions and support its staff is the least I should do. Thank you so much for being there and do what you do every day even for non-English speaking foreign truck drivers :)

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