Glowing praise paid to staff and paramedics at the West Suffolk Hospital

Cherry Bryce celebrating her 90th birthday back in September

Cherry Bryce celebrating her 90th birthday back in September - Credit: Archant

Glowing praise has been paid to staff and paramedics at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, who cared for a Sudbury woman in her final days.

It has come from Kelvin Bryce whose mother Cherry Bryce died on Friday, November 15, aged 90.

She had lived at Croft Court and was one of the first people to move into the complex back in 2005 and Mr Bryce, who also lives in the town in Bartholomews Lane, said: “She meant a lot to many people and at her parting the staff were such an important part of a blessed ending.

“This was the NHS at its best despite the constant political bombardment and underfunding, West Suffolk staff demonstrated what an asset to our society it is.

“Our family are deeply indebted to those people of the service who made a very difficult time much easier than we anticipated. We thank them but our words won’t adequately express our hearts gratitude.”

His mother was admitted to the hospital for three days with an infection but was released back home and felt better until a week later when along with his wife Zahra they visited her.

They noticed a sudden weakness and breathing difficulties and called 999 and St John paramedics arrived along with two more ambulances.

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Mr Bryce, who moved with his family to Sudbury from South Africa to care for his mother, said: “In hindsight I think my mother knew her time had come and adamantly wanted to stay at home until my wife suggested she accompany her and spend the night at her side.

“I joined them later with her granddaughter and husband where we were met by anaesthetist Dr Allen and her team.

“I have been caring for my mother for the last six years and during that time in the back of my mind has been the anxiety of not being able to care for her properly and how it would be when the inevitable happened.

“Dr Allen, with clarity and compassion, listened to our concerns about my mother’s wishes not to interfere with her departure and explained that something could be tried which might produce results but if, on the other hand it did not, then the next steps would be invasive and even then it may not help, to which we all said that would be against her wishes.

“After several hours and no change the respirator was removed and she was left to her own devices.

“Her family sat around her bed for the next four hours holding her hands, stroking her face and talking to her unconscious body, all the while attended by the ward nurses looking after us and seeing to our needs, until she breathed her last.

“All the staff that we encountered from the first responding paramedics, through A&E to her departure in ITU alleviated these grave moments in our lives and were part of our experience. While totally professional in their every moment their hearts and humanity were evident

to us and as we shed our tears we saw theirs also.”

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