Hello Everyone, an update on my AMAZINGLY STRONG and BEAUTIFUL wife Ally. She is home now!!!!

I am so happy to be able to tell you all that Ally is back at home with us. She did it!!! She put up an unbelievable fight and beat the odds. She was released from hospital on Saturday morning. We are all very happy, although in my opinion she was released way to early and with nothing set up for her to continue her recovery.

The doctor in charge and the head nurse told us they had a "PLAN" to release Ally on the saturday of a long weekend. We were told thursday night after work, and the next day was a statitory holiday. They were going to just send Ally out the front doors of the hospital, with here 4 bags of stuff, and have her take the train and bus home. With no walker , which she cannot walk without, with no presciptions, no physical or occupational therapy set up, nothing. I was so disgusted and beside myself. This is how Ally is rewarded for winning the fight of her life. Before this we felt blessed to be at Royal Columbian Hospital, a level 1 hospital where people from all over the province are flown to when they are really in trouble. We have nothing but thanks and praise for everyone working in the ICU and the HAU departments. They are the reason Ally is still with us. But as soon as Ally was transferred to a normal ward the level of care dropped exponentially. No one bothered to read her charts and find out why she was in their care.

Long story short, we blew up at everyone. I even got the head of the hospital down to Ally's room. Only then did they start to make some arrangements to aid Ally, but not many. Everything has been left for Ally and I to set up. Unbelievable. Has anyone else had the same BS happen to them upon discharge? Ally went into the hospital with double pneumonia and MRSA in her lungs, and placed into a coma within 6 hours of entering the hospital. In the 2 weeks on the normal ward and even on discharge she has not been seen by a respirologist. We do not know if her lungs are totally clear or if there was any permanent damage done to her lungs. No one seemed to care when we pointed this out. WOW!!!!

We are going to file formal complaints against the hospital. Has anyone had to go to this extent? Any advice? It is just such a shame that after the great battle Ally has won, we have to put up with this. We are very happy to have our wonderful mother and wife home. As you all know, we still have a long way to go but we are enjoying our second chance we have been given with Ally.

Sincerely,

Marc

8 Replies

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  • Glad she home and I hope she continues to make great progress. When I was discharged 3 years ago from being in a coma I had to arrange for someone to pick me up and take me home and wheel me to the car in a wheelchair as I was still learning to balance properly, but I didn't mind I was so happy to be going home so focus on that, they really wouldn't of expected her to travel alone if she had no one. And as for follow up appointments they will be sent out to your home in due course 😁

  • unfortunately they WERE prepared to send her on the bus and no follow up was arranged, she was given pamphlets until her husband advised that since they only let them know the evening before a stat holiday all family had went out of town and they have no car at this time. Had I not been there the morning of her discharge she would have been discharged with no prescriptions, no physio assessment arranged, all on a long weekend when everything is closed. it was horrible!!

  • I don't know which country you are in, Marc, but here in the UK I'm afraid the hospital discharge process can be fraught with problems too, for 'normal' patients as well as those who were previously in ICU.

    I suspect the sudden decision to discharge, especially on a Friday or before a Bank Holiday, is common. I think this may be due to the pressure on beds and the problems of getting enough staff to man the wards at those times.

    When I was moved to a normal ward after being in ICU/HDU, my bed was near a nursing station, and I often heard the staff phoning round nursing agencies frantically, always on a Friday or weekend, to try and get staff.

    As a former social worker in England (in a team for older people)I've known of very frail, elderly, folk be discharged home, alone, late at night. It's as if ward staff don't regard it their business to manage, or care about, the transition from hospital to home - they are insulated from the outside world where carers can't always be summoned at the drop of a hat, and they are probably under huge pressure to release the bed for someone else - but it's very important to the patient and family.

    I think you were right to be assertive about Ally's discharge, and keep on asking questions. Sending her home like that sounds negligent. Good luck with Ally's recovery.

  • Yes. ICU was brilliant but once on the ward they were rubbish. I had to phone my husband at midnight when meds due at 10pm still hadn't materialised. He arrived, read the riot act, I ended up with a consultant at my bedside as they tried to raise my sats.

    Waited 25 mins for a call Bell needing a bed pan. In the end I tried to make it to the bathroom using a walker. I didn't make it.

    Every complaint ended with them saying you're not in ICU now. Catheter bags were never emptied on time so they overflowed, they connected my oxygen to the wrong tube in the wall. Lack of oxygen meant my sats plummeted. My husband asked them if they were incompetent or negligent. In the end I discharged myself. Matron came to try to dissuade me. "What if you relapse at home and stop breathing". I replied "my husband will bundle me in the car, I can be in resusin 3 mins. It took you 25 mins to answer a call bell, if I'd stopped breathing then the only place I'd be going is the morgue"

    We didn't complain because ICU had been brilliant but in hindsight I wish we had.

    Good luck

  • Hello again Lynn,

    I absolutely love how I know that I will hear from you anytime I ask a question. I only wish that we lived in the UK, and not Canada, so we could meet you and all the other incredible people from this site. Ally and I would love that!!

    Do any of you live in Stratford-upon-Avon? My younger brother actually lives there with his wife.

    Back to the real issue. Lynn, your experience sounds just like Ally's. She was right across from the nurse's station and it would take 20 - 30 minutes for the nurse to respond if they did at all. They told her that she pushed the help button too much, but same as you, Ally could not even walk on her own. Ally also had all the paperwork filled out for her to discharge herself, but I begged her to stay. It was just too early for her to leave. It is so sad that this terrible care on regular hospital wards is so common. I am sure that when the nurses and doctors chose their professions their intentions were to help improve the health and lives of their patients and their families. I do not imagine they chose these lines of work so they could ignore, humiliate, disrespect, and ultimately compromise the lives of their patients. It is such a shame and let down after all the positive and hard work done by the nurses and doctors in the ICU. In the ICU they do everything in their power to save lives, only to have the complete opposite happen on the regular wards.

    How long have our hospitals been like this? I would love to know what happened to make our hospital system fail us so completely. It could not have always been like this. Major problems like this usually come from the top down.

    It might be to no avail but Ally and I are going to let RCH know how we feel about Ally's hospital experience. We will definitely let it be known how amazing the ICU staff was and then how patient care takes an 180-degree turn once the regular wards are reached.

    Once again, thank you all for being such a huge part of this life changing event. ICUsteps and all of you amazingly strong, big hearted survivors are what gave me the strength and information I needed to make it through this health scare of Ally's. I have printed all our postings and all the responses and made them into a book. Ally and I read through it daily. The ICU department also has a copy, which I hope they will use to show other families.

    Cheers,

    Marc

  • Great news that your wife has recovered and made it home and she had the strength to win her fight in ITU. Sadly what you have said from her time in the ward to her discharge is all to common and when I left ITU after a month in a coma the care on the ward I recieved was much the same as your wife's experience. When my discharge occurred I couldn't walk and had no plans in place at home for any care although the physio dept had tried to set up an emergency care package but that didn't come until 8weeks after being home. Did we complain no because of how wonderful the care had been in ITU. Perhaps we should have. As like above I had issues with meds, bed pans etc. very sad after such wonderful care given in ITU.

    Again delighted to hear about your wife. Keep well

  • Hello, sorry for my late reply. I had to fly to Korea for work. Thank you very much for your reply. I am so sorry that you went thru the same BS. I am so disscusted with our medical system. As I said, they released my wife way too early, 2 days after I left for Korea my wife,Ally, had to call an ambulance because she could was having a tough time breathing. That was April 27. She is still in hospital. She was only home for 1 week. Ally is at a different hospital and receiving much better care now.

    When I get home I will be lodging a formal complaint against the previous hospital. And if I could , I would suggest that you should too. It is never too late. If we do not, then this terrible service will just continue. After the amazing fight that you, my wife, the ICU and so many others have just won, it is so sad how you all get treated. It is up to us to change the system. Together, I feel we can do it.

    Thank you. We will talk soon.

    Marc

  • Wonderful news that Ally is home. Unfortunately what you have experienced in Canada also happens in the U.K.

    The care I received on the normal ward was very poor. I was discharged with no follow up physio and some of my follow up appointments I had to fight for. My GP had to make numerous referrals and then I had to follow them up. I put a piece on the Patient Opinion website about my experience which was picked up by a NHS manager but when I detailed my discharge and out patient care as they requested I do they didn't get back to me.

    I cannot thank enough the A&E resuscitation staff and ICU staff for saving my life. I think in the UK the NHS is on the brink of collapse. Many of our hospitals are not big enough to cope with increasing numbers of patients and staff work long hours. Working 12 hours a day for up to 10 days in a row nobody could give of their best.

    Keep fighting for Ally and what you know she needs and I hope she continues to improve every day.

    Healing thoughts from Lesley-Anne

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