Glad to be alive
Reporter: DAWN MARSDEN
Date online: 12 June 2014
Patient praises Royal Oldham nurses
A 46-YEAR-OLD man who fell seriously ill in America has praised Royal Oldham Hospital staff for putting him on the road to recovery.
Darren Sutcliffe is getting used to life at home following an 11-week stay in hospital during which he thought he was going to die.
He said: “If it wasn’t for the outstanding care I received at the Royal Oldham Hospital, I wouldn’t be alive — it’s as simple as that.”
Darren was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel condition Crohn’s Disease three years ago, which was controlled y diet. Last November while he was working in America, his symptoms flared up. His sister Mandy Crawford flew to escort him home and the next few months were a blur of doctors’ appointments and hospital admissions as Darren’s symptoms worsened.
Doctors eventually advised removing Darren’s large bowel - but a two-hour operation stretched to seven hours as the extent of disease was revealed on the operating table. Surgeons removed his spleen and Darren’s body went into shock afterwards. He was admitted to the hospital’s high dependency unit and his family told to expect the worst.
As he showed tiny signs of recovery, he was moved to T5, a specialist ward for colorectal patients.
Darren, who is now living with Mandy in Littleborough, said if it wasn’t for the unrelenting efforts of the nurses on the ward, he would have given up his fight.
He added: “I developed trust for the staff on T5 right from the start. They were honest with me and they told me the road to recovery wouldn’t be easy. But they never stopped believing that I could get better and eventually I started to believe it too.
“From the nurses who changed my dressings, to the nurses who helped me to start eating again to the physio who convinced me I could walk to the bathroom on my own, they never stopped pushing me to get better. They were just positive. They went way above the call of duty and I will always be extremely grateful.”
“Crohn’s Disease is a lot more common than you think but it is a bit of a taboo subject. My aim now is to raise awareness and do fund-raising activities as I get better.”
Mandy, a manager at a private nursing company, said: “After Darren’s surgery, there were times when I thought I was going to lose him. I was thinking as Darren’s sister, rather than as a nurse.
“But the staff on T5 got me and Darren through it. They explained what was happening at every stage.”
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