St Georges Hospital - Day 1

Leaving Earlswood Ward at East Surrey to St Georges was quite an emotional and worrying afternoon.  I remember the staff at East Surrey being so good to Sophie, Emma and I, preparing us for the move and helping us keep it together.  We knew there was going to be a tough few weeks ahead of us, but as I helped Emma and Sophie into the ambulance transfer and said goodbye to them and to the East Surrey staff, I perhaps didn't realise how poorly Sophie was when the ambulance drove off with the blue lights going.

Given the COVID restrictions I was not allowed to be at the hospital with Emma and Sophie, so we decided that I would stay at home and Emma would get Sophie settled in and give me an update later on.  Through the afternoon I got a few texts from Emma just saying they were there, located in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) and being looked at by the consultants and so on.

I then got a call from Emma to say that they were taking Sophie in for an emergency operation to clear out the infection and I was to come to the hospital.  That's when reality really starts to hit you, so I picked up my overnight bag and drove to Tooting. After parking and making my way around the hospital to locate PICU, I remember Emma calling me saying she was going to theatre now, so I started to run along the miles of corridors and managed to find them just in time.

The doctors were great at explaining everything to Sophie, Emma and I and with great nervousness and worry I watched Emma go through the doors with Sophie into the anaesthetic room. Shortly afterwards out Emma came and we walked back to the PICU parent’s room for the long wait.

Once there, Emma recounted her discussions with the consultants and their eagerness to clear out the infection and their concern that it might have gone down from the rear of her leg above the knee to down past her knee into to the lower part of her leg.

After about an hour, the anaesthetist came in to talk to us and tell us that the operation was done, she was ok and would soon be back in PICU for monitoring. We were relived and even more so when he told us that they only had to open the top part of her leg (about 3 inches) to clear out over 250ml of infection.  Thankfully it had not gone any lower, so concerned were the surgeons, that they had several plans in place, including an option to amputate, we were glad they did not tell us that before the operation!

It wasn't long until we were allowed in to see Sophie, it’s was very upsetting to see her connected to so many machines, with so many tubes and cables, but the nurse looking after her was so good to explain everything to us and keep us calm, we needed that as we were a wreck. Gratefully we were both allowed to stay in one of the parents rooms next to the ward to get a bit of sleep.

PICU 01 PICU 02 PICU 03
The ventilators and monitors All the drugs Blood filtering

 

The following day we heard more from the doctors, the oncology team, pain team and many more that it all becomes a blur. We were so pleased that the operation was over, little did we know what was coming next…

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