SIR - On Tuesday, December 30, I went to my Warwick Practice at the Medical Centre and although I did not have an appointment the receptionist could see that I was in some distress and arranged for me to see the locum doctor. She could not find what it w
SIR - On Tuesday, December 30, I went to my Warwick Practice at the Medical Centre and although I did not have an appointment the receptionist could see that I was in some distress and arranged for me to see the locum doctor. She could not find what it was and asked for help. Dr Wallace had just arrived back from house calls and came in to have a look. He thought it was the heart but not this time! He was unsure and so arranged for me to go to Barnstaple for them to have a look. By this time the pain was getting even worse.At 12 noon on New Year's Eve I was taken for the scan but even that was inconclusive. They could see something wrong in the abdomen, could not see where the source of the problem was. In the end Mr Cartmell the surgeon and Dr Collins the anaesthetist discussed the problems and difficulties they were facing mainly because of the poor state of my heart. All this time I had the support of my dear cousin Linda who was allowed to be with me all the time. In the end I was given various options which when it came to the worse possible outcome - a perforated bowel - my chances of survival would be just 10 per cent. I thank all of the doctors for telling me exactly where I stood and telling me the truth all the time. By 8 o'clock I was ready for the blood test to check I could go to theatre and at 8.20 was whisked off for the operation to save my life. These two wonderful men and their teams worked until after midnight on New Year's Day - and I have survived.In the FAU I was looked after by another team of fantastic nurses, ancillaries who explained the Open Menu to me so that I could enjoy the food - I have a very low salt and sugar diet at home and the food was salty and sweet, but the kitchens provided me with just what I wanted and I thank them for it - and specialists for almost every part of the hospital who worked so that on Saturday, January 17, beyond anyone's wildest dreams, I was discharged and allowed to come home. I now await further developments as to what they need to do next.John Karslake, Ilfracombe.