"Feeling fine to feeling ill"

About: Stafford Hospital / Vascular surgery

(as the patient),

Feeling fine to feeling ill

One year ago, I was seen by a specialist, who in turn referred me to a vascular surgeon, who diagnosed me with a partial left carotid artery block. It was explained that I had little choice but to go for the surgery as it appeared I had suffered a minor stroke. No symptoms other than a feeling of memory loss.

After the surgery I was left in ward 7, which I didn’t find to be the best place to find yourself after my kind of surgery. Being told I would only spend a few days, I said nothing, I waited for the Monday to come.

I really did need to go, the ward caters mainly for bowel and severe problems, and it was the worst week I had ever spent in my life. Despite being on my notes clearly marked for discharge, they kept me in, from, what I can tell they ignored the surgeons notes totally. I was discharged but have since had a continuing stream of visits, every one now adding to the list of further problems.

I have to stress that I did not feel ill until I was admitted and now as the weeks pass yet more and more tests are given, I am now losing my speech and despite several visits, I now find myself being told I suffer from myasthenia gravis, and the artery so in need of clearing out is now totally blocked.

After being scanned I was given the news that now it was fully blocked no further treatment would be advised or given, “So why all the rush to get me in before Christmas?” I asked, but no answer was given.

Now my life has changed so much for the worse. I feel totally and utterly let down by Stafford, not the individuals who have seen me but by the total and utter lack of continuing care that should have shown my artery was blocked soon after surgery not left for three months for a scan, then to be told nothing would be done about it.

I wish I had researched my condition before being admitted and had spoken to as many people who have had similar problems before being treated. So many things go well, but when it does go wrong like it did for me, I can tell you it’s not good. My choices now are so very restricted. The ability to speak normally is one you take for granted, but it does affect your life in so many ways. From being a reasonably fit person now I tire so quickly, and dread having to meet people, trying to speak to them along with the fatigue from the pills you have to take. I look forward to the possibility of more problems, as it appears after having this treatment you can end up diabetic and other wonderful conditions.

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Response from Charlotte Garrity, Communications Officer, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

I am very sorry to hear that you feel let down by our hospital and understand that you have clearly been through a very tough time.

We appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your experiences and we always try to use patient feedback to improve our services.

We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and in person. I would be very grateful if you could contact our Advice Centre on 01785 230811.

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