BLUE LIGHTS FLASHING
Thoughts for July from Beth Brindle
When I was first asked to write for the magazine, it was one of those moments when my mind went blank! However, eventually I thought of sharing a memory that my husband and I will never forget and have often been reminded about over the years.
We quite often hear complaints about the failings of the NHS and not always about their wonderful care and treatments. The amazing response by them, during the recent terrorist attacks, prompted a memory of mine from fourteen years ago when my family will be forever in their debt.
My daughter Claudine and her husband Kevin came to stay with us to announce that they were expecting their first child. They had seen the twelve week scan and were thrilled with the news, as were we. They went out to shop and had lunch. They were due to go to Kevin’s brothers in Stockport to tell them their news but when Claudine felt queasy she thought she had eaten something that disagreed with her and decided to stay with us while Kevin went alone to stay overnight.
It was a Saturday evening and Claudine felt really ill and was in great pain. Unfortunately our emergency doctor service was changing to another supplier that evening, and it hadn’t been a successful change over. My husband had left to collect Kevin from Stockport as he had had a few drinks in celebration of their news. I rang the NHS help line describing her symptoms and was told it sounded that she had an ectopic pregnancy, which seemed strange as we had seen the scan. I was told to take her to our local A&E. However, by this time she was really poorly and there was no way I could have got her into my little Ka, so they sent for a paramedic and he arrived very quickly. I realized by his treatment that he was trying to save her life. This was obviously terrifying for me but fortunately my husband and Kevin arrived back and we followed the ambulance, firstly to Chorley Hospital, where they suspected an ectopic pregnancy, and then on to Preston. It was blue lights flashing all the way and she was accompanied by a young doctor who was checking on her all the time. On arriving at Preston Hospital we saw at least six personnel running into the building and we found out they were to operate on Claudine immediately to save her life. What a night that was as you can imagine. I can’t help thinking what could have happened had Chorley A&E been closed at that time, and am so pleased it is open again.
We will always be grateful to the doctors and nurses who did such a magnificent job. There were two babies and one was ectopic and both were lost. Claudine and Kevin were obviously traumatised for a while but went on to have our two gorgeous granddaughters who are now thirteen and nine, who give us so much pleasure.
I wrote to both the ambulance service and both hospitals with our thanks and had replies back saying how nice it was to have some feedback and thanks. So whenever we hear the NHS being criticised we remember the wonderful response and life-saving treatment that our daughter had.
I am sure the families of the survivors from the London and Manchester attacks will also be thankful that we have so many highly trained people who can deal with such devastating emergencies without a thought for themselves.