"The final days of my wonderful dad's life "

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

2 years ago my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer.

He successfully finished chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the start of last year. From then on he continued to lead a happy and fulfilling life. At the end of last year dad started to get back pains but carried on smiling. Mum and dad in early 2014 went on holiday, which had to be cut short as his pain had become so intense. Unfortunately our doctor thought it wasn't necessary to admit dad into hospital, but 2 days after their return to the UK we had to call the ambulance service.

They were incredible, and got him to A&E quickly. Unfortunately A&E didn't quite realise the severity of his condition. I suppose they are so used to people in pain, but if only they knew that my dad never complained.

Fortunately someone did eventually realise that dad was very ill. He was rushed into resuscitation. While he was in there, the Sister took us into the family room - she was lovely, and afterwards when we were allowed to see dad. They told us of all the efforts they went through to save him. We were grateful for them allowing us to talk to dad and tell him we loved him before he was taken into ICU, the last time he was conscious.

I feel dad was so privileged to have been taken under the ICU wing. I know that they did all they could do to look after dad. They were all professional but with a personal touch, telling us what was going on every step of the way. While I send my sincere and endless thanks to them all, I just want to give an extra recognition to Liz. Never could we have asked for such an angel to be the last nurse to tend to dad.

Though his death is heartbreaking, he wasn't very old, and an incredible man, Liz was the best person we could ever have imagined to help dad and us at the very end. A wonderful woman who treated dad with the dignity he deserved, and offered hugs and reassurance all the way.

So I thank all that looked after dad. It saddens me that he had a few days of such intense pain before we got him into East Surrey, but his final 2 days there were nothing but above and beyond. Maybe they could sense just how incredible dad was, or were they all just kind, professional and loving people? Or maybe a bit of both!

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Response from Barbara Bray, Chief of Surgery, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for sharing this with us at this sad time for you. I am very sorry to hear of your father's death but heartened to hear that you felt he was well cared for. I will ensure that your feedback is passed to the ICU staff and to Liz in particular. Please contact the ICU follow-up team on saleena.young@sash.uk if you have any questions unanswered.

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