Empathetic and comforting

In 2004 I developed an acute leukaemia and was very ill. I left my GP and went to Ashford. I had a bone marrow biopsy at Ashford and had to be transferred to RAH on Friday night as the treatment I required was only available in the public hospitals. I arrived at 6 pm and was in A&E till 11pm, terrified, as there was no bed available in the haematology/oncology ward until then.

When I finally got up to the ward Shane was waiting for me, although his shift had finished some time before. He took me to me room and as he met me he said “Hi I’m Shane. We know what you’ve got and we know what treatment you need. I waited to say hello to you before I went off duty” or words to that effect.

The kindness and empathy he showed with those actions and those words have stayed with me for 16 years.

From being so scared and thinking I would not survive, and waiting two days in Ashford and then five hours in A&E to get on the ward (thinking each minute was vital in giving me a chance to live, and those minutes ticking quickly away) and feeling that I had reached somewhere where people knew what to do and would take charge and do it, gave me such a feeling of safety.

And after 16 years his care still brings tears to my eyes.

All the staff were great but he was a standout.

Relatively simple actions and words in a way, but empathetic and comforting. They gave me hope that I might survive and I was in a safe place.
And I was lucky enough to survive.   

Adrienne, Medicine graduate




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