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Southend medics save life of cruise ship passenger
6:20am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
MEDICS at Southend Hospital stepped in to save the life of a man who was airlifted from a cruise ship in the English Channel.
Gerry and Hazel Vanslyke, who live in Canada, had just set sail from Southampton and were heading for Belgium, their first stop on a European cruise, when disaster struck.
Mr Vanslyke suffered a stroke on board and was airlifted to Southend by air ambulance to be treated in the hospital’s renowned stroke unit.
He arrived at the hospital in time to have vital clot-busting drugs that must be administered within a critical time frame of the first symptoms.
Mr Vanslyke made a full recovery thanks to the quick actions of the ward consultants and staff.
Consultant Dr Devesh Sinha, who treated Gerry, said: “We are very grateful to the air ambulance which transferred Mr Vanslyke so rapidly to Southend. His swift transfer enabled him to receive emergency treatment. He is now making a rapid recovery.
“The ambulance crews – whether air or road – are very important members of our stroke team. We have been working with them to innovatively improve communication while they are en route to hospital.
“This means emergency investigations and stroke treatment can be given even more rapidly and improve outcomes for patients.”
The cruise ship made an unscheduled docking in Dover so worried Mrs Vanslyke could leave the ship and join her husband at his bedside.
She took a taxi all the way from Dover to Southend. The driver even let her off the fare when he realised she had no cash.
Ward nurse Fiona Golding helped Mrs Vanslyke by ensuring she had hotel accommodation while her husband was in hospital.
Mrs Vanslyke, who emigrated to Canada from Colchester in the Sixties, is a retired nurse and could not fault the treatment her husband received at Southend Hospital.
She said: “The care has been great and everyone has been so helpful.”
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