Patient with multiple health conditions gives thanks for great care

Rick Elmer with Bernie McAlea and Philip McAdam

Staff worked tirelessly to help a nervous patient with multiple heath conditions to have a potentially life-saving operation.

Rick Elmer, a former engineer from Burnley, said he had received great care from staff at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Mr Elmer, 64, needed to have an operation to have part of his lung removed and he was given extensive support with stopping smoking and alcohol dependence prior to his surgery and in the days after his operation.

The associated anxieties with such withdrawal symptoms when patients are dependent on smoking and alcohol can increase already heightened anxiety levels and be detrimental to a patient’s overall recovery.

Staff worked together to ensure everything ran smoothly and that Mr Elmer wasn’t in distress.

Mr Elmer said: “Our great-grandparents fought for the NHS. The staff here in Blackpool are worth their weight in gold.”

Mr Elmer, who lives on his own in the resort, added: “My consultant, Mr Purohit, has told me he is happy with how everything has gone.

“I can’t thank people enough. I hope it will give me more time with my grandkids.

“I have slept like a log and I’m planning to keep up the healthy lifestyle. I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Philip McAdam, a Cardiothoracic Advanced Practitioner on Ward 38, said: “It’s always tremendously satisfying and rewarding for members of staff when you see someone like Rick who has been admitted for such major and life-saving surgery and who was so anxious, get to this stage.

“He had several issues that were taken into account prior to being admitted and by properly addressing these we have been able to provide a treatment plan for what would otherwise have been a complex discharge.

“This has been a team effort and a great illustration of how team working can result in positive outcomes.”

Bernie McAlea, thoracic nurse specialist, added: “It took a lot of team effort from staff at Blackpool and Burnley to get Mr Elmer ready for this surgery but it is very satisfying to see patients having a good experience during his in patient stay in the cardio-thoracic unit.”

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