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"Felt I was more than just a patient"

About: Ayrshire Central Hospital / Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre WestMARC (Ayrshire & Arran) / Adult wheelchair Clinic WestMARC (Ayrshire & Arran) / Bioengineering clinic

(as the patient),

As a consequence of long term diabetes I lost both of my legs (below the knee) within six months of each other about two years ago. This consequence is undoubtedly life changing but at the time you have no way of knowing what these changes will be or how you will be affected. It's like a grieving process where you experience a range of emotions, for example, anger, frustration, anxiety, guilt and blame. It's natural to focus on what you think you will not be able to do and you can become entrenched in negativity. I was lucky. The day before my first operation I listened to a report on the radio about British soldierrs returning from war in the middle east who had lost limbs as a result of IED's. That got me thinking about paralympians and their amazing achievements. These guys had their whole lives in front of them. They accepted their situation, adapted and lived to their full potential, At 66 years of age what did I have to complain about?. I managed to change from being negative to positive and set myself four goals; I wanted to walk, drive, work and sail a yacht again.  Two years down the line and I'managed all four.

The care that I received in the ward from the doctors and nurses was excellent. I felt that I was included in every aspects of my treatment. I felt that I was more than just a patient, I was central to everything that was happening.

While the physiotherapists and the prosthetist were equally excellent I was conscious of their lack of resources primarily in terms of staff.

I have recently been introduced to a local charity, 'Finding your feet' that I think can be a major asset for people like me. 


Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear IainB,

I read your story with humility and great admiration. What fantastic achievements. This is such a wonderful outcome from such a difficult starting place. You have to be congratulated, along with the teams that helped you to get there.

Not only will the staff get great pleasure from reading your story with its really positive outcome, the benefit to others is unquantifiable.

Thank you so much for taking time to share this poignant story with us on Care Opinion. I will be honoured to pass this to the teams you have mentioned. I wonder what you will get up to next.

Best wishes,


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Response from Heather Richardson, Operational Services Manager, WestMARC, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear IainB,

Thank you very much for posting your story on Care Opinion. It really is an inspirational tale. The fact that you have met all of your goals in just 2 years should really be held up as an example to some of our other Patients.

Thank you for mentioning the great work that happens in the Physiotherapy and Prosthetics team. Its good to hear that the support that the teams offer is invaluable to you in your rehabilitation journey. Even when we have limited resources our focus is always on making sure that Patients can reach your own outcomes/ goals.

I will pass on your story to the teams here at WestMARC and I am sure they will join me in congratulating you on reaching your goals and offering their continued support.

Kind Regards

Heather McIntosh

Operational Services Manager

WestMARC | West of Scotland Mobility and Rehabilitation Service

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