Last Sunday I had the honour of being asked to read at the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust Staff Appreciation Service at Worcester Cathedral. I was asked to give an account of my experience with the NHS and the hospital, and writing something for the event came very easily to me. I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who looked after me and cared for me, and to those who are still helping me but in a different way, as they are looking after my beloved Aunty Maria who is in the advanced stages of dementia.
This is my reading below, for any of you who couldn’t make it to the event at the Cathedral. Huge thanks goes to Rev’d David Southall for asking me to read at this event, as it is so important to say thank you to all the staff at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and to let them know how much we appreciate them for all their hard work:
Hello, my name is Lisa. My only son, Francesco “Frankie” Enrico Ventura was born sleeping at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Friday 29th November 2013. It is a day I will never forget as long as I live.
I have been very lucky and very fortunate to be in the hands of all the wonderful and caring staff at the hospital and within the NHS, who are not praised enough for their dedication and hard work. We should preserve our NHS and fight for it with everything we have, because we will all miss it if we no longer have it. A world without our wonderful NHS and having access to healthcare whenever we need it does not bear thinking about. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped me or looked after me at the Worcestershire Royal hospital and in the NHS, and this is for each and every one of you.
To my community midwife Maria Allsop, for looking after me in the early stages of my pregnancy with Frankie, I appreciate you.
To Miss Imtiaz who saw my husband and I when our unborn son Frankie was diagnosed with a very severe cleft lip and palate, and who referred me for further tests at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, I appreciate you.
To Matron Rachel Carter who came to see me when I was in labour with Frankie, who offered me lots of support during his birth and since, I appreciate you.
To Samantha Lane, the lovely midwife who helped me bring Frankie into the world and who placed him in my arms when he was born, I appreciate you.
To Nick Vakis-Lowe, for getting handprints and footprints of Frankie that my husband and I will treasure forever, I appreciate you.
To Rev’d Guy Hewlett, for all your support and being there whenever I needed someone to talk to, I appreciate you.
To the staff on the Avon unit who looked after my father in law Allan during final week of his life last year, I appreciate you all.
To the staff on the Lavender ward who looked after me during the four times I have lost a baby since my Frankie was born sleeping, I appreciate you all.
To my consultant Mr John Watts and my genetic counsellors Dr Denise Williams and Jan Moore, I appreciate you.
To my friends Gerard and Nick, who work tirelessly as porters at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, I appreciate you.
To Trudy Berlet, for being there for me whenever I needed to talk about my grief at losing Frankie, for spending time with me in January this year and for referring me for bereavement counselling when I needed it the most, I appreciate you.
To Laura Ashby in the medical assessment unit for looking after my beloved Aunty recently when she was admitted due to being in the advanced stages of dementia, to the team on the Silver Assessment Unit and to all the healthcare professionals who continue to look after her and make her as comfortable as possible in the rest home she is now in, I appreciate you all
To the Trust Chairman Harry Turner, for fielding a lot of negative comments and publicity about Hospital and Trust, and for doing such a sterling job of standing up for all the staff and helping with their morale, I appreciate you.
To my mother Linda Ventura who has worked for the NHS in Patient Data in Worcestershire until her retirement recently for more or less the whole of her career, I more than appreciate you.
To Jennie Roehrig, for volunteering tirelessly at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to help other new Mums after they have given birth, I appreciate you.
To Rev’d David Southall, thank you is too small a phrase for everything you have done for me. For baptising my precious son Frankie, for helping me through the grief of all the bereavements I’ve had, and for providing me with continuing spiritual guidance, I appreciate you.
And finally, to each and every of you at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Trust, from porters, to nurses, doctors, consultants, volunteers and everyone in between, for all you do to help look after us when we are ill, sick and in need…we all appreciate you.