Despite the unrelenting negative headlines in the media of cutbacks and ward closures our health service still retains one irreplaceable asset - its personnel. Fianna Fail councillor, Paul Canning, was so impressed - and so moved - by the care his daughter received at the weekend following a leg break he said he wanted to go public to praise staff at Letterkenny General Hospital.
Speaking yesterday the Fianna Fail councillor told the ‘Journal’: “My daughter, Vanessa, suffers from Oesteogenesis Imperfecta, which is a brittle bone type disease.
“She had the misfortune to break her leg early Friday morning. We phoned the ambulance at 9.05am - it arrived at 9.20am, with two ambulance personnel. We arrived at the hospital at 9.45am and were taken directly into Casualty where Vanessa received a bed. The service was so efficient, it couldn’t have been better.”
The Newtowncunnigham representative said on arrival at Letterkenny his daughter was attended to almost immediatly by a doctor who explained the procedure clearly to both herself and to them.
He went on: “The staff were superb. Two nurses were assigned to Vanessa’s bed. Both had excellent personalities - one was from Donegal town and the other from Letterkenny. Both of these nurses couldn’t have done enough for us as parents and for Vanessa as a patient.
“Unfortunately, one of them is thinking of going to Canada and I think her going will be a major loss to Casualty. Indeed, later that evening - about eight hours later - I spotted the same girl showing the same kindness and assurance to other patients.
“We remained in a treatment bed in casualty during which Vanessa received pain relief, got an x-ray done and had a Thomasan splint put on to keep the leg in one position.
“After the results of the X-Ray had confirmed that Vanessa had a broken femur, a team of orthopaedic surgeons arrived and explained to us the procedure they were about to undertake and the prognosis they believed would result.
“We listened and took their advice and signed the necessary documents. This was all done within 3 and a half hours after arrival.
“After this Vanessa received a bed within a ward and again I must stress we received nothing but professionalism with a friendship attached. We remained within the ward overnight with frequent checks from several nurses along with all the appropriate pain relief.”
Colr Canning said the following day Vanessa was taken to theatre When she arrived there a somewhat nervous young girl was given comfort, confidence and reassurance that all would be well by a very professional team which was, he said, a credit to this hospital.
The surgery lasted three hours consisting of rods getting inserted into the femur via the knee. Vanessa is now in recovery and doing well.
Councillor Canning concluded: “I wanted to go public to thank the staff. They were brilliant.
“We, as a nation, tend to focus on the negative aspects of this hospital when in truth there are people like Vanessa and ourselves getting this great service on a daily basis with no word of credit in return.”