Harthill farmer thanks Bassetlaw Hospital for ‘saving my life’

A Harthill farmer has thanked staff at Bassetlaw Hospital for ‘saving my life’ - saying ‘if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be here’.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 7:26 am

John Wilks, 69, says without the quick thinking of a doctor who rushed him into emergency treatment after he was admitted with breathing problems he would have died of thrombosis.

During a week-long stay at the hospital last month John witnessed the ‘extreme pressure’ staff are under during the Covid crisis - applauding their ‘compassion’.

Father-of-one John was admitted to the hospital’s Covid-19 ward with respiratory problems caused by pneumonia and pleurisy on October 23.

John Wilks recovering in Bassetlaw Hospital

He had already tested negative for coronavirus twice but was placed in the Covid ward due to his lung problems.

After an X-ray showed he had a blood clot in his right lung John woke up in bed in the middle of the night ‘gasping for air’.

The farmer and lorry driver had developed thrombosis in his lung - or a pulmonary embolism - which if not treated quickly would have killed him.

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John Wilks back on his Shireoaks Farm after his near-death experience at Bassetlaw Hospital

He said: “They were trying to take blood but they just couldn’t get any out of me – my body was completely shutting down due to a lack of oxygen.

"The doctor looking after me told me ‘we have to ring your wife’ but I thought ‘it’s 2.30am’ and said ‘what’s the point in that?’ Just get on with it.”

A medic caring for him called Dr Iqbal - who knew how serious John’s condition was - told him ‘we have to go now’ and had him rushed from the Covid ward to the cardiac arrest ward at the other end of the hospital within three minutes.

John was given emergency treatment to break down the blood clot while a nurse held his hand saying ‘don’t shut your eyes, keep looking at me’ - fearing if he lost consciousness he could die.

Thankfully John survived and is now recovering at home on blood-thinning medication.

However, after spending time recovering in the hospital he said ‘everyone at Bassetlaw should have recognition’.

He added: “The nurses do 12-and-a-half-hour shifts with just one 30-minute break - as a lorry driver I have 45-minute breaks every four-a-half-hours.

“It’s just the compassion you’re shown from the nurses and student nurses all the way down to the people who bring you food and the cleaners - I owe my life to them all.”

David Purdue, director of nursing and midwifery at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “It’s great to hear that John is doing well at home after his stay with us – we wish him the very best on his continued road to recovery.

"All of our colleagues here at Bassetlaw Hospital are working so hard to overcome challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic and I know John’s kind comments about the excellent care he received will make a considerable difference to their morale.

"I’d also like to echo John’s sentiments that our nurses, medics and support staff are deserving of recognition for their dedication and compassion during a difficult time – I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.