A REDDITCH woman given just 30 minutes to live says it’s thanks to the incredible skill of staff at the Alexandra Hospital that she is alive and on the road to recovery today.
Webheath resident Kim Bushell had gone to the Alex for a triple hernia operation and adhesions on January 27.
But post op Kim’s condition deteriorated so rapidly a crash team of theatre staff under surgeon Mr Mohammad Riaz had to race to ITU to operate to save her life.
“The doctor gave me 30 minutes to live and said it was too dangerous to even take me to theatre. If I’d had to travel to Worcester I’d never had made it,” said the former teaching assistant.
Kim had suffered from ‘compartment syndrome’ where pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels, in her case, leading to breathing difficulties and huge pressure on her internal organs, restricting the vital blood supply to them.
“They were going to move her to the operating theatre but the ITU consultant said she was too ill so they got all the theatre staff out of the theatre to operate, and there were nurses running up and down the corridor fetching things as they were needed,” said Kim’s husband Clive.
The surgical team saved her life, but Kim’s care didn’t end there.
Because she had a rare skin condition doctors at the Alex harvested her own DNA to ‘grow’ a mesh to reinforce the area around her hernias and then placed her in an induced coma for four weeks to use an Abra wound system to gradually close up the operation area.
“This machine was bolted on either side of me, they said it was the first time it had been used at the Alex and it slowly closed me up – but thing is, being in a coma, I don’t remember anything about it,” said Kim, aged 53.
“However they said I was a real fighter, and that’s why I’m here today.”
And she cannot praise staff at the Alex enough: “From the top to the bottom they looked after me so well, from Mr Riaz who operated on me in ITU and all the nursing staff and cleaners.”
Her road to recovery has not been smooth, since leaving hospital she has suffered severe anaemic shock and fluid retention, but she says the care she has received has been second to none.
“The Alex deserves some positive press from all this, the care I have received has been absolutely fantastic,” said Kim, “even my consultant Mr Sinnathamby Siva came in on his day off when he heard I was back in. They are all marvellous.”