Elizabeth Coombes

"Route to Recovery" for Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal

Fundraising for Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal
raised of £3,000 target
by 96 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Route to Recovery, 10 September 2023
Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1052284


On Christmas morning 2022 my eldest son Fraser was found unresponsive in bed and that was the beginning of the worst few weeks of our lives.

We rushed him to the Emergency Department at Salisbury District Hospital where the incredible Paedeatric and Intensive Care teams took charge and immediately sedated him and sent him for a scan. It revealed a sizeable abscess on the front of his brain and a patch of further infection on the right side of his brain too.

Imagine being a parent and watching your son being prodded and poked, having tubes stuck in him and witnessing a whirlwind of frenzied activity and words like "time critical" while you stand by helpless and not having any idea what your day holds in store.

Fraser was bluelighted to Southampton Hospital where he underwent several hours of emergency brain and ENT surgery whilst we sat in the parents room in a completely surreal state. This was Christmas Day and, like millions of other families, we were watching re-runs of Gavin & Stacey but the difference was, we were in shock and not knowing whether our son was going to even make it through surgery while our other children were at home also having the worst Christmas Day ever.

To cut a long and tortuous story short, Fraser made it out of surgery that day and it went from being the worst Christmas Day ever to the best - he was alive and that was enough. He did really well for that first week and we thought he was ok. But he started to go badly downhill again and on 6th January ended up having further neuro surgery to remove the remaining infection. That transformed him and the following morning he started his incredible bounce back.

The surgeons and consultants at both hospitals were incredible. This was a joint effort. If the amazing Paedeatric team at Salisbury hadn't recognised the urgency, then he wouldn't be here today. Likewise, it's down to the fantastic Neuro team and the doctors and nurses at Southampton for performing two lots of surgery and 3 weeks of rehabilitiation and care.

Both teams have described him as a miracle. By all accounts it was touch and go and he could just as easily have not made it through Christmas. He wouldn't be in the place he is today without both hospital teams and so for that reason we want to raise money to support their ongoing work and provide much needed equipment and facilities for other children who may be in the same situation or stuck in hospital away from their families.

On Sunday 10th September a bunch of friends (these guys were amazing -they got me and Fraser through the hardest times but that's another story) and I retracing his "route to recovery" and walking from Salisbury Hospital to Southampton Hospital to raise funds for both - not literally, that would involve walking down the M27 and then there would be more casualties but you get the drift. "Pah - that doesn't sound like much of a challenge!" you might think. But its' more than a marathon and we're all in our fifties with bad hips and knees and other hindrances.

Please please support us in our endeavours! I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am to the medical teams and the wards for saving Fraser's life and for giving him such good care afterwards. They are miracle workers. They definitely worked a miracle in this case!

These brilliant friends who make up our team are:

Amanda Jones

Liesl Rodgers

Andy Willets

Alex Luck

Bob Christopher (by my side all the time)

Virginia Griffith

Ben Thornton

Lucy Hendry

And our amazing support team

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Thank you for reading this far - you deserve a medal for that!


About the charity

Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1052284
The Stars Appeal is the NHS charity for Salisbury District Hospital. Every day Stars Appeal funded projects help hundreds of patients across all wards and departments and support the NHS staff who care for them. Please tell us if you wish to support a specific ward, department or cause. Thank you

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