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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Thank you for saving my life

A staff member has thanked Wirral University Teaching Hospital colleagues for saving her life after a stroke.

Bethan Ramsden, 61, whose sons were told to prepare for the worse when she suffered a stroke, has told her story as part of Make May Purple, the Stroke Association’s annual awareness month.

After joining the hospital in 1977 as a Pupil Nurse and working her way up through various nursing roles, in 2003 she took a leap and joined the IT Department as a Clinical Nurse Analyst. However her life was turned upside down in October 2012 when she suffered a stroke.

Bethan said: “I got up to the IT office at Arrowe Park and just collapsed. I was brought down to A&E and ended up on Ward 23.”

She’d sadly lost her husband six years before and was a widowed mother of two adult sons.

Bethan said: “I wasn’t expected to survive. Doctors told my sons to prepare for the worst.”

She battled through and three weeks later was transferred to Clatterbridge Rehabilitation Centre but suffered a clot on the lung and was brought back to Ward 22 at Arrowe Park. She was eventually discharged in mid-December 2012.

The stroke resulted in a significant brain injury and she couldn’t move her left side. After extensive physiotherapy in hospital and later at home she largely recovered. She still has some weakness in her left hand and had to learn how to write with her right hand.

Following an early retirement she later returned to the organisation as a part-time Clinical Support Worker.

Bethan said: “A stroke takes every aspect of your life and pulls the rug from under you. I’ve had to relearn everything. The whole experience was frightening.

“But it’s amazing what you can do with the right care and if you put your mind to it. I’m very proud of this trust and the care I received.

“I was treated so well by the Emergency Department, Ward 22 and Ward 23. They saved my life and I’d just like to thank them.”

Bethan is now a member of the Disability Staff Network Group at Wirral University Teaching Hospital and is also a disability mentor within her workplace.

She said: “The idea of the mentorship is that if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation to me they have someone to talk to. I want to use my experience to help other people.

“I married again in 2014 and I just want people to know there is life after a stroke. I’d just say to people to never give in.”


Photo caption: Bethany Ramsden, Clinical Support Worker, who has talked about her recovery after a stroke, as part of Make May Purple.