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Donors recognised at respiratory medicine event

Grateful former patients who provided valuable funding and equipment to develop the respiratory medicine service at Poole Hospital were guests of honour at an educational event for staff in the service on Friday (16 June).

Jianmei Scott and Barbara Hill have both benefited from the respiratory team’s care - which they describe as life-saving - after emergency admission to hospital.

Jianmei, 47, spent more than six weeks in hospital – including a week in critical care – with pneumonia, as well as septicaemia and kidney failure. Continuing to have difficulty breathing, her respiratory consultant, Dr Thereza Christopherson, suggested she try a non-invasive ventilation machine to support her breathing overnight. After just three nights the improvement in her condition was stark.

“Dr Christopherson saved my life,” said Jianmei. “I was sitting in hospital for 10 days and nights thinking I was going to die.

Jianmei“Dr Christopherson came to the ward in the late evening to set up the machine after a long and busy day - I had the first night’s sleep in those 10 days. She checked on me the following morning and I just continued to improve – that’s when I knew I had to give something back to the department.”

Jianmei initially donated £5,500 to purchase and maintain an earlobe blood gas machine for the respiratory ward. The earlobe blood gas machine measures the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide present in a patient’s blood and is an alternative to the uncomfortable radial artery samples used in the past. The earlobe blood gas machine was demonstrated during the study day, with further teaching sessions continuing on the ward throughout the week. Jianmei has also pledged to give a further £1,000 a year towards the development of the non-invasive ventilation support service at Poole Hospital.

Meanwhile Barbara was moved to support the service after being admitted by ambulance with pneumonia last year.

“I was very unwell, it was scary – I couldn’t breathe,” she said. Barbara spent an anxious nine days in hospital, with her son’s imminent wedding on her mind.

“I said to ward staff I had to be there, but my son was already looking at postponing the wedding,” she said.

“Staff pulled out all the stops – they were fantastic. I was so grateful to all the ward staff, which is why I wanted to give something back.”

BarbaraBarbara has donated two circulation boosters that stimulate muscles and promote blood flow, as part of a pulmonary patient’s rehabilitation programme, worth a total of £400. Pulmonary rehabilitation plays a leading role to help restore mobility, fitness and health to patients with chronic respiratory illnesses. The circulation boosters will be a valuable resource for patients recovering from a prolonged illness and requiring intensive physiotherapy.

Dr Christopherson said patient support for the service is vital.

“Donations like these really do help the service provide the most up to date advances in respiratory medicine to our patients” said Dr Christopherson.

“We are seeing an increasing number of patients with respiratory failure for a variety of reasons. Each patient presents a unique set of medical challenges which need the correct medical assessment and therapy.

“We’re indebted to Mrs Scott and Mrs Hill for choosing to support us – their generosity will benefit many others for years to come. My team and I are so grateful for these donations which help us to restore health to our patients."

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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