"Fantastic service all round!"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

I was first admitted to the RD&E in Octover 2012 with acute diarrhoea. I was quickly diagnosed with colitis but didn't respond to steroid or immunosuppressant treatment. After a few days I was rushed to theatre for an emergency subtotal colectomy. My colon had perforated and I was quite close to dying. I spent nearly a week in ITU before being moved to Lyme Ward where I stayed for another 5 weeks, suffering from a post-operative ileus, unable to eat and requiring an NG tube and TPN feeding through a PICC line. I eventually recovered and in August 2013 I had keyhole surgery performed again by the same surgeon, to create an ileo-anal pouch, or j-pouch. I spent 5 days on Lyme Ward again, this time recovering well. I was back in again for the reversal or "takedown" surgery in October 2013, this time I spent 4 nights on Lyme Ward again. The story should finish here but sadly I was never able to shift the ulcerative colitis in the small part of my rectum which had to remain as part of the pouch anastomosis. I spent the next 15 months having regular consultations with the GI medical team. I tried several treatments including prednisolone and infliximab infusions. I was hospitalised three times in early 2014, spending an average of four nights each time on either Exe or Oakment Wards. I also had two day-case surgeries in the second half of 2014 to drain abscesses and fistulae, these were also performed by the same surgeon at the Heavitree Road site. I decided in late 2014 that I no longer wanted to try to make the j-pouch work, and in January 2015 was admitted for pouch excision and proctocolectomy surgery, again with the same surgeon, in partnership with a colleague. I suffered from a slight post-operative ileus again and was discharged from Lyme Ward 8 days later. I'm now nearly six weeks out from the surgery and I'm feeling better than I've felt in the last three years. The stoma that has been created this time is a textbook example, absolutely no issues with it whatsoever and it looks so clean and neat, as do the scars from the laparotomy etc. I really can't begin to thank everyone who has been, without exception, absolutely fantastic throughout my treatment. I felt that the doctors and surgeons have been excellent, particularly in consultations where I've always felt that the information I've been given is clear and my questions answered. But mostly I'd like to thank the nurses, particularly those on Lyme Ward, who have had to deal with many weeks of me, who will freely admit to being a fairly difficult patient. I am extremely nervous and prone to panic attacks during even the most innoculus of procedures and treatments, but I've always been put at ease by the nurses there, who are full of care and compassion, and always have plenty of time for me. I'd also like to thank the Stoma Care Nurses whose patience and education made the transition to being an "ostomate" as simple as possible.

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Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Thank you for taking the time to share your story regarding your care and treatment at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital since 2012. I am delighted to hear that you are so happy with the care you have received during your several admissions. I would like to thank you very much for your positive feedback. Kind comments such as yours are always gratefully received. I would like to wish you well for the future, and I do hope that you continue to make a good recovery.