"A fine job under difficult circumstances at St Peter's"

About: South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust St Peter's Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I am a man of 73, thankfully still active, so when I moved here to Chertsey in Surrey in 2005 I joined the local tennis club as I have enjoyed playing tennis for many years. We meet Sunday mornings 10am to 12 in the local park which nowadays is enough for me.

The story of my experience begins on a Sunday in May. We met as usual and began to play and during the course of one hectic rally the ball flew towards me to my left. I turned to reach it but somehow my right foot got trapped under my left foot and I crashed to the ground. I say crashed because I've fallen on the court many times but this was something else - I went down like a ton of bricks. Two others ran to help me but I was surprised to find apart from some grazes I felt OK and continued playing.

On Monday morning while putting on my socks I noticed my left ankle was slightly swollen but thought nothing of it. On Tuesday it was a bit worse and during the day the swelling continued up my leg.

Around 6pm I sat on the sofa and took off my jeans and I heard my wife gasp "good grief". My whole leg had swollen up like a balloon - I really thought it was going to burst.

She dialled 999 and the ambulance arrived quickly. The paramedic took one look and said "DVT". I said "What?" She said "Blood clot - we'll get you in straight away" and took me off to St Peters Hospital, Chertsey.

The doctors checked me out thoroughly, admitted me, and was put on a programme of injections and treatment to thin the blood and reduce the swelling. Ten days later I was discharged and put on a course of warfarin to keep my blood thin.

Now, although I still walk with a stick and my leg is still swollen (but nowhere near as bad as before) I am getting better and am looking forward to getting back onto the tennis court (hopefully before Christmas).

I would like to end by saying that although it has been an unpleasant experience I have nothing but praise and admiration for the people who cared for me from the paramedics, the doctors and nurses in the A & E dept, the nurses and helpers on the ward and now the staff in the aftercare ( Anti-Coagulant ) clinic.

I know that the NHS isn't perfect but as far as I'm concerned they are doing a fine job under difficult circumstances.

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