"Hospital Review"

About: James Paget University Hospital

A year ago, my mother age 79, was feeling poorly and short of breath. After a period of local consultations she was sent to cardiologist the James Paget Univ. Hospital. Her diagnosis was a congenital heart valve problem that was worsening with age and was causing congestive heart failure.

The cardiologist was kind, but honest. At her age she could not expect to find a heart surgeon who would be willing to operate on her. Her heart was already enlarging and failing from the strain of working with bad valves and she could look at being on oxygen within the year and full failure very soon afterwards.

So she was put on Warfren and sent home with the idea that her last days would be made as comfortable as possible.

A few months later she got a call. The cardiologist, on their own initiative, walked up to one of the top heart surgeons in the UK during a conference and told him her story.

Based on the cardiologists impassioned advocacy, this surgeon agreed to conditionally look over my mother’s case.

Within a month she was sitting in the office of the surgeon in Norwich and after a few minutes of consultation, they agreed to rebuild her heart valves.

This last January, she had the operation. Since then, she has had one heart shock to get the pacing back to normal, but over the last few months she has gradually fully recovered and is able to walk without losing her breath and is almost entirely off the heart medications like Warfrin. Today is as healthy and active as you can expect for someone who is 80. She has a new lease on life and is looking forward to many active, healthy years.

None of us have any idea what is in store for us and all we can hope for is to remain active and pain free as we enter our extreme old age. My mother now has that to look forward to, thanks to her cardiologist. Her care from start to finish has been exemplary and that's why she asked me to write this review.

My entire family wants every doctor and nurse she has met with to know that she, and we, are beyond grateful to all of you, but especially to her cardiologist. They could have accepted that a 79-year-old woman was reaching the end of her life, but instead they made the extra effort to find the best care and they made it their personal mission to make sure they had the best possible outcome.

They never sugar-coated the risks and they were honest to a fault, but they never gave up hope. There are many fine doctors in the NHS, but this doctor is heads and shoulders above the pack and for their care, expertise and willingness to stick their neck out on behalf of his patients, we can’t thank them enough.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from James Paget University Hospital

Dear D.Wile

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this feedback.

Yor mother's story is a very heartening to read. I have shared your feedback with the teams involved in your mother's care, who will be pleased to receive your positive comments.

It is especially pleasing to hear that your mother's surgery and subsequent full recovery has enabled a significant reduction in her medications and the ability to walk without experiencing shortness of breath.

Best Wishes

Amanda Hood

Head of Patient Experience and Engagement

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