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Home >  Blog >  A lovely letter from a Heart Centre family

A lovely letter from a Heart Centre family

Posted by Nina Klug on 24 August 2017

The family of one of our patients has written a beautiful letter of appreciation. It shows how many people and various roles work together to make the experience as easy as possible for our patients.


Dear Doctors, Nurses and CHW staff

Last month my son Daniel was admitted to CHW for open heart surgery. About five weeks before that occurred we also attended your facility for an angiogram in the cardiac catheter laboratory. I am writing to thank those of you who have made a significant event in my life and more so in my son's a wonderful and pleasant event without fault.

Dr Jonathan Mervis and his team conducted the procedure in the cat. lab. Dr Mervis is a highly professional doctor who commenced our most recent adventure to CHW with style (this being our fourth surgery not limiting other procedures). Our visit to his lab went smoothly and he managed to clear path for our brilliant heart surgeon to undertake his own role. I am very grateful for Dr Mervis' talents and those of the team who assisted him without fuss, complication or hiccup! Thank you.

That same day I had an education session with a highly skilled nurse and educator called Glenda Fleming (part of the cardiac team at The Heart Centre). Glenda prepared me well and provided a range of reading material which was most useful. She was very caring and highly professional; obviously a very experienced and dedicated nurse.

We spent one night on the ESW during that visit (we have lived there previously for other surgeries). The nursing was "intense" and focused on my son and his every need. The nurses take their role seriously and it is wonderful to observe such dedicated and caring nurses, so focused on the full range of needs of the children who visit and reside there.

On the 27th July 2017 we returned to CHW from our home in Canberra for Daniel's Fontan; his third heart surgery in three years. Early that morning we reported to the Middleton Ward for the horrendous "waiting game". The big question as always is "Will there be a spare bed in the PICU to allow this operation to proceed?" There is nothing worse than this wait. We are aware that no one can do anything to alleviate it but I will acknowledge it is the WORST part of the entirely wonderful, traumatic experience and part of our lives living with CHD.

We were blessed (lucky, fortunate however people chose to describe it). On this occasion we got our surgery on the planned date, first attempt and with thanks (to Jess and others). Daniel went to theatre and I left his body in the highly capable hands and care of Professor David Winlaw and his team.

Following the surgery, Daniel spent 48hrs in the PICU. Once again we were re-united with a gang of familiar faces and highly trained people (and too many to either single out or mention). They were all equally amazing; doctors, nurses, clerical staff, visiting radiographers, cleaners, etc. Hanging out in the PICU is never a pleasant experience as a parent, not when your child is in the state they are to be eligible for a bed in that facility. However the pain is eased (and was once again) by the amazing people who work that area.

They are talented, efficient, dedicated, highly trained, caring and professional in every way. We have never met anyone who is not AWESOME. Congratulations to CHW for the amazing and skilful work which is undertaken every single day in every corner of your facility. I truly am grateful for all that people have done and continue to do for my son.

For the following ten days, Daniel and I made our home on the ESW. We had the pleasure again, of receiving care from some amazing nurses, teams of doctors, play therapists, blood collectors, radiographers via a couple of visits to the CT scanner, the Catholic Chaplin, a dietician, a pharmacist, a haematologist, various volunteers from the pink pinny brigade, the lovely dog therapy volunteers, clown doctors, kitchen staff who fed Daniel every night, the diet maids who do home delivery, porters, pharmacy staff who continue to provide an endless supply of medication required for my son, the cafeteria staff, grounds people, gardeners, car parking and all of the supervisors who oversee the busy workers under their management. I never planned to single out certain departments or try and thank them all because there are so many. Those I have mentioned were the most outstanding and the ones with whom we were most intimately connected.

Without any doubt there have been some marvellous people who have been responsible for giving my son his life. At the top of this list is the great cardiologist Dr Stephen Cooper who frequents your facility like his second home (even though we all know he has probably spent more hours at CHW than his own private residence). If he is setting the standard for all those whom he has brought into this three staged surgery for Daniel, then it is no wonder that everyone who has crossed my path and who has supported and cared for Daniel is amazing. Dr Sherwood must also get a mention as she structured the care of my son's recovery, post his Fontan, almost every day that we spent on the ESW. She is special (and I question whether these people every have a rest day)? They are devoted, that is apparent.

Words cannot possibly express the gratitude I have for you all, tears won't cover it either. It is with thanks that we walk away from your facility for a very long time without having to return to such a unique and wonderful place where sick children are sometimes the winners and their parents and families remain ever grateful to you all for an incredible occupation or devotion to what it is that you guys see as "normal".

God bless you all and keep up the great work. Well done and congratulations.

Libby

Author: Nina Klug
Tags: Doctors Work Patients Thank You's
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