Patient Story: “Robotic Surgery Gave Me My Life Back”
Tom Carpenter, 21, from Southwater, West Sussex
“At the age of 16 I started to feel ill regularly for no apparent reason. I experienced extreme sickness, making me feel completely wretched. Nothing I did made it better, I just had to go to bed until it passed, which could take several hours. It began to affect my appetite and got worse and worse over time until I lost the ability to eat completely. I wanted to eat, but trying to just left me feeling awful. At this point I had dropped out of college and was bedridden, eating very little for months.
“I was referred to a gastric specialist, Dr Sonny Chong, at Shirley Oaks Hospital in Surrey, and he diagnosed me with gastroparesis. I was then referred to Mr Sri Kadirkamanathan, consultant upper GI surgeon, and he introduced me to the idea of fitting a gastric pacemaker implant which could suppress the sickness I was experiencing. Ever since meeting Sonny and Sri, my life changed. My weight had plummeted to 52kg (8 stones, 2lbs), so when most 17 year olds have a driving lesson on their birthday, I was having a feeding tube fitted and began the long road to getting the pacemaker.
“I felt completely hopeless, I couldn't carry on with my education, I was weak and miserable, with no quality of life and unable to do anything my friends were doing. I finally received my gastric pacemaker on November 27, 2013, and cannot put into words how it changed my life.
“Without a shadow of a doubt the robotic surgery needed to fit the pacemaker was the best thing that ever happened to me. My recovery was steady, but I knew I was getting strong every day and able to eat food from day one. Having the surgery carried out robotically meant that it was less invasive, which helped my recovery. Slowly but surely my appetite grew, I had little or no symptoms of the condition and I could focus on regaining my strength. This took time, I'd lost so much weight and my confidence had also taken a huge knock, it was a good six months before I felt like I was getting back to normal and decided I was ready to enrol back at college again to start in September 2014.
“I lost two years of my life to this and four years on I am making the most of life! I completed my two-year course at college and I am now undertaking a degree in Software Development at Winchester University, for which I’m currently on track to graduate with a first.
“Sri and Sonny completely turned my life around, they gave me my life back and this wouldn’t have been possible without the use of the robotic surgery needed to fit the life-changing pacemaker. I am eternally grateful for what they did. I don't want to lose any more time in my life to this and I will always have gastroparesis, so knowing I could have the battery replaced by the robot, minimising my recovery time, is extremely important to me and others with this condition.”
‘Our Charity’ is calling on the community to rally together for our £1.5million appeal to fund the upgrading of the robotic surgery service at Broomfield Hospital, including a state-of-the-art new surgical robot and the continued use of surgical robotics.
There is significant evidence that demonstrates a number of advantages for patients who have benefited from surgery with the surgical robot compared to conventional surgical techniques including:
•0% perforation rate for Heller’s Myotomy (compared to 12% rate – European trial)
•Shorter hospital stays
•Immediate effects within recovery
•Precision surgery (overcoming limitations of laparoscopic surgery)
•Articulation beyond normal manipulation
•Naturally occurring tremors filtered out by computer software
Your support will put Broomfield Hospital firmly on the map as surgical innovators in Essex.
You can donate to our appeal, ‘Rally Together for the Robot’, here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/midessexhospitals/surgicalbot
Support our London Marathon runners at ‘Our Charity’ and the Children’s Burns Club’s quiz and raffle night
You can support our London Marathon runners at ‘Our Charity’ and the Children’s Burns Club’s quiz and raffle night at the Medical Academic Unit, Broomfield Hospital, on Friday, March 23.
Pictured is Dr Katherine Nutt, clinical psychologist, at the Farnborough Winter Half Marathon on Sunday (January 21).
She said: “I am taking on a huge personal challenge of running a marathon for a cause very close to my heart.
“I have been training with, volunteering and then working with the Children's Burns Club over the last three years and in that time I have seen the incredible impact this charity has had for many families. The Children's Burns Club creates opportunities for volunteers, families and young people who have been through some tough times following a life changing injury or illness to share their experiences with each other, and the impact this has is immeasurable. It is important to ensure that these opportunities continue to be available, so please help me to help them.”
You can support Katherine by visiting her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katherine-nutt
A big ‘thank you’ to those who are also running the London Marathon this year. We will be sharing their stories and training updates in the run up to the event.
•Emma Grafton: http://www.justgiving.com/EmmaGrafton
•Andrew Hughes: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-hughes31
•Jessica Mason: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessicamason87
•Chrissie Brice: www.justgiving.com/ChrissieBrice
•Ian Edwards: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-edwards28
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, visits Broomfield Hospital
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, visited the trust today (Friday, January 19).
He heard from our teams about our work around continuous improvement to the quality and safety of care for our patients.
This included risk management, clinical leadership and accountability; incident reporting and learning; and a culture of engaging with staff and patients and encouraging our teams to ‘speak up’ if they have any concerns.
Mr Hunt discussed patient safety across the country, the role of the Care Quality Commission, performance and patient satisfaction. He then welcomed James Titcombe to the platform, who shared the tragic story of the death of his baby son, Joshua, at just nine days old, and his campaign to find out what happened and improve patient safety at the trust where his son was born. The visit concluded with questions from the audience.
Nick Alston, chairman of the trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Hunt to our trust today in order to hear about patient safety from a national perspective.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share the results of our dedicated teams’ work to ensure the safety of our patients.”
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said: “There is some fantastic work going on at Broomfield to improve patient safety and it was a great opportunity to meet staff and hear about their initiatives.
"It's been a challenging winter but the trust's hard work to create the Emergency Village and Frailty Ward to support A&E shows how the whole hospital is taking responsibility to improve patient safety and flow.”
Emma Mulcahy, left, and Naomi Rumbold, right, with the 'tree of life' display.
GICU team unveil emotive display to commemorate those who have given the gift of life
The GICU team welcomed the families and friends of those who have given the gift of life through organ donation to attend a special ceremony on Monday, January 15.
The team unveiled the ‘tree of life’, an ornate display featuring leaves which commemorate each donor, extending back to the last eight years.
It offers an emotive tribute to them and represents the ultimate gift to others in need.
Emma Mulcahy, senior sister for critical care, together with Naomi Rumbold, specialist nurse for organ donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, led the ceremony, which was followed by refreshments in the Medical Academic Unit for the audience of friends, families and MEHT colleagues.
Emma said: “The ceremony was very well attended by more than 50 relatives of 25 people who became organ donors here at Broomfield. It was a fitting and emotional tribute to their loved ones.
“We have chosen this tree as a symbol of generosity and of new life. Each of the leaves not only represents the lives lost, but the generosity given selflessly to help others in our community and nation.
“We also hope that the tree will inspire and support other families who find themselves in such devastating circumstances with the hardest of decisions to make.
“Across the UK, more than 6,000 people are in need of a transplant. For most, transplant is their only chance of recovery, but every day, three people will die waiting.”
Guests welcome the newest members of the chaplaincy team at special service
It was an opportunity for colleagues, friends and guests to welcome the newest members of the chaplaincy team at a special service on Tuesday, January 9.
The Rt. Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, attended to oversee the licensing of the Reverend Meymans Sala as trust chaplain and the commissioning of Barbara Gale and Hazel Kempton as ward chaplains.
During the service, held at Broomfield Hospital's Faith Centre, the team as a whole were also rededicated and the congregation wished a fond farewell to those who are set to retire.
Attendees heard from a number of speakers, including addresses, presentations, readings from the Bible and hymns led by the Rt. Reverend Cottrell. The Bishop also paid particular tribute to all of the staff of the hospital.
Opening the service, Nick Alston, trust chairman, said: “I would like to reflect on the last few weeks, which have been extraordinarily difficult for this hospital and for our colleagues.
“Perhaps all of us today, as we celebrate those who are stepping forward to do such good work, could keep at the front of our minds what we are all here for, our patients, and our staff, who day by day have been facing just extraordinary challenges over the last few weeks, and let’s have that thought linked with everything we do today.”