During Jessica’s time in critical care, we kept written diaries, audio/video diaries every day and sent SMS and Whatsapp messages to Jessica. Our intention was always to fill in the gaps during her coma. We encouraged her to wake up and come back to us. Lewin needed her and we continually sent the same message.
The Intensivists at Ipswich Hospital
The Intensivists at Ipswich Hospital who looked after Jessica told us to make detailed written diaries every day. They provided small folders to write in. These are video excerpts from a visual video diary kept over 29 days and are being shared with Jessica’s express permission.
They include her time in the Ipswich Hospital critical care department and her care at The Royal Papworth Hospital where they woke Jessica up on day 27. Filmed during August 2015, they provide testimony to her journey from childbirth, ED, Critical Care and when she awoke.
Watch the video here: https://goo.gl/wnbSH3
Life inside a critical care unit
Life inside a critical care unit is one big roller coaster, full of highs and lows, one minute you despair, the other you are hopeful of improvement and encouraged by the lack of audible alarms from the capnography equipment.
Other days you just hope the alarms will stop sounding and that nobody utters the words “We can’t do any more for her.”
For a family of non-clinicians, this was our most traumatic and challenging experience outside of normal every-day life. The language in critical care is alien, clinicians talk to each other but none of us understood the seriousness of the patient’s condition. People, their actions, work and competencies determine the outcome of your loved one. Their conduct, behaviour and knowledge could determine your child’s future and survival
Life over the past four years
Life over the past four years has been an eye-opener, we’ve seen our share of incompetence, excellence and incredible caring people who demonstrate empathy naturally. We have also experienced neglect, betrayal and corruption at the highest level. Our beautiful daughter Jessica was now in the clinician’s hands, bereft of all control, reliant on their skills and knowledge I felt the most vulnerable I have ever felt in my life. I pleaded with the staff at Ipswich Hospital to get my daughter shifted to a heart specialist centre.
Jessica was now Septic
Jessica was now Septic, the neurological outcome was unknown and The Royal Papworth Hospital didn’t want to accept her with an infection.
I was distraught and offered to get a helicopter
I was distraught and offered to get a helicopter. The cost was estimated at £10,000. My wife’s twin sister and husband said they would help. The Ipswich Hospital said the altitude could kill her and I wasn’t helping. It was a 20-minute ride by helicopter and I was prepared to take the risk. Papworth said no, the infection markers were too high and Jessica’s Neurological outcome was still unknown. I interpreted this as “If she is brain-damaged so badly she won’t recover, they won’t provide their specialist heart service to her.” I understood their prioritisation of other patients but was devastated my daughter had been written off already.