Page 3 - Matt Carter Story
P. 3

Page 3 of 6
               Matt Carter’s Storey

               3 - The Penultimate Step in Matt Carter's Journey

               In this third part of four, I describe my time     away which made me so happy.
               in the Churchill hospital under the knife. The     I don't recall having any acute pain
               operation was followed by four days of
                                                                  whatsoever with only a few aches and
               intensive care and a week recovering on the
                                                                  awkward moments trying to move about.
               Upper GI ward.
                                                                  Yes, the drugs are strong because they need
               Leading up to the operation I was scheduled        to be but I didn't experience any serious pain
               for the full oesophagectomy, a highly              to worry about. On day two I was sipping
               invasive procedure requiring access to the         tea. The ICU consultants and nurses were
               entire body cavity via a 'shark bite' lookalike    amazing, so incredibly professional and
               incision from the belly button around the left     caring.
               side under the ribs and up to the shoulder         Arriving on the Upper GI ward was a great
               blade. In certain circumstances a smaller          relief. It felt like recovery was just around
               keyhole operation is sufficient but for me
                                                                  the corner. The team on the ward are simply
               full access was needed. The aim was to
                                                                  fantastic. I'm also so grateful to friends and
               completely remove the tumour located at the        family travelling to see me, mostly in a haze
               juncture between the lower oesophagus and          of gentle hugs and drugs, though I do
               the stomach, requiring the entire oesophagus       remember dignified assisted showers with
               to be taken out and the stomach to be
                                                                  Hilda 'the shower queen', what a Trojan she
               reconstructed. It's a daunting thought for
                                                                  is! Another star visiting me was Jackie, ex-
               anyone to contemplate but given the                oesophageal cancer patient and founder
               alternative I felt extremely grateful to have      member of OOSO who now inspires me to
               this option and simply wanted to get on with       work with her to help others through what
                                                                  are very difficult times.
               On the day of admission my wife stayed
                                                                  Ok the food wasn't the best memory nor the
               with me to the final door, a really hard and       disrupted nights having regular checks
               emotional moment for both of us, even              receiving medication, but I felt increasingly
               though we had utmost confidence in the
                                                                  better and within a week it was time to leave
               surgical team because we knew that my
                                                                  for home.
               surgeon has a 100% wake-up rate.
                                                                  Since my days on the ward two years ago
               The operation was well described. I felt very      the clinical team have introduced an
               well informed. Receiving the general               advanced recovery programme called
               anaesthetic was the last thing I remembered,
                                                                  'ERAS' (Early Release After Surgery) which
               opening my eyes some nine hours later in an
                                                                  aims to help patients recover even faster and
               intensive care bed.
                                                                  seems to be working really well. My overall
               My surgeon being the absolute star he is,          stay lasted ten days and now the typical
               immediately phoned my wife to tell her I           duration is around seven to eight days.
               was ok. She didn't hold back the tears.
                                                                  I'm pleased to say my time in the Churchill
               Perhaps the biggest surprise was waking up         was a good experience. Yes, ok I had a
               with eleven tubes and drips poking in all          tough few days, but given the seriousness of
               directions. But that didn't stop the team          the operation my story is testament to the
               getting me out of bed two hours after the          brilliance of our NHS. And yes, there are
               operation. I sat up sipping water watching a       always things that could be done better, but
               six nations rugby match while peddling             those fantastic people saved my life and
               slowly on a small exercise bike.                   thoroughly deserve honest, heartfelt positive
               My wife was allowed to see me straight

               \\NOV2012\E (Data)\Temp\Temp\Matt Carter Story.docx
               Last Updated on 18Oct2017 by Roger Beaumont
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