In July 2007, Justine Roseblade received the awful news that her husband Peter had been in a near-fatal cycling accident. She spent more than three weeks by his side at King’s and explains why she’s supporting our Support Life Appeal.
‘I was packing to get ready to go on holiday with my two daughters aged 14 and 17, and got a call from the police to say Peter had been in an accident.
‘We drove to where he’d been knocked off his bike and my eldest daughter went with him in the ambulance to King’s while my younger daughter and I followed in the car. By the time we arrived he was being treated by the Trauma team. He had a full MRI scan, which showed multiple fractures, and his head was bleeding profusely.
‘He was transferred to the high dependency unit the next day which was when his condition started to deteriorate. His legs were swelling and doctors soon discovered he had blood clots in both lungs.
‘It was then that I realised how serious it was. I asked to speak to one of his doctors because I was concerned about his back. I’d been told he’d broken it, and I asked when they were going to fix it. The doctor replied that that was the least of their concerns – they were trying to save his life.
‘It hit me then that I could lose him – it was a massive shock.’
‘Peter was in a coma for five days and it was a very sad place to be in, surrounded by so many very ill people. When he did come round, he thought he was in the basement, but we were actually on the first floor, there were just nowindows.
‘He was on a ventilator for several days and couldn’t speak as he had tubes in his mouth, so the nurses gave us a letter board so we could communicate. He was then given a plaster-cast jacket to help his shoulder and back heal and was keen to get home as soon as possible.
‘When he did get home he went into the garden and sobbed – he was so relieved to be home, and had realised what a close shave he’d had.
‘It was a stressful time, but your focus isn’t on yourself or anything else, it’s just about getting through and hoping that each day there’ll be better news than the day before.
‘I am a King’s patient already as I have rheumatoid arthritis, so I was in no doubt that King’s was the best place for him. The staff in the Critical Care Unit were amazing. You get to know them really well and they were brilliant.’
We’re setting a new global standard in critical care. Read more about how it will support more families like Peter and Justine’s.