West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE
It’s been a year since my RRM (risk reducing mastectomy) and reconstruction. I’ve been able to visit the breast clinic on multiple occasions since and it’s like visiting my old friends. Ms. Hu, Fola, Vilma, Marilene are memorable kind faces each time I come for a visit. Thank you and keep up the wonderful work you do for all your patients.
I only have the best things to say about my experience with the West Wing. It was truly an outstanding team effort which supported me before, during and after my RRM (risk reducing mastectomy) and reconstruction. I thank every person who made the whole process easy for me. I initially felt the impact of the multidisciplinary team when an MRI (given annually to me as a BRCA1 mutation carrier) on November 2016, resulted in an abnormality. The biopsy result was benign but the experience made me more determined to pursue the RRM. So with the help of Michelle, one of the nurses on the first floor of St. Bart’s West Wing, I booked a series of appointments to get started on the process. It was around this time, that I had my initial meeting with Dr. Abbie Unwin, a clinical psychologist and a member of the team. Abbie met with me twice a month, and even called me at home a few days after the surgery was complete. Abbie was instrumental in supporting my mental fitness for the surgery and she also connected me with a private therapist for post-surgery. It definitely helped to talk with someone about everything during the whole process. Marilene Andaya is my Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and meeting with her in March 2017 to go over options was another necessary step in the pathway to surgery. She has since been a constant source of advice and comfort. She seems to be available to answer even the most ridiculous questions from the most panicked patient that I unfortunately, sometimes was. Marilene told me not to hesitate to text her about anything at all and she was the one who encouraged me to walk-in to clinic on the day I was admitted for an infection. I was fortunate to have Ms. Jennifer Hu as my breast surgeon and I was glad that I waited for her return from maternity leave. My initial surgical consult was on April 2017 and when I returned six weeks later, though I anticipated at least a year’s wait, I was officially booked for the RRM with Becker 35 and TiLOOP reconstruction surgery on July 11. I will forever be grateful that Ms. Hu came in to perform the surgery that day despite having been in the emergency room with her sick babies the night before. She truly has high standards for her work and during my subsequent hospitalization from that infection, she really seemed personally invested in my health. She has been a fierce champion for my successful surgery and recovery. Each time I came in for any concern, she always made time to see me and I always felt like a priority. Many others involved in my surgery went above and beyond to help me. Fola, the nurse during my pre-surgical assessment meeting is hysterically funny and incredibly supportive. Vilma, who helped me take out my drains days after the surgery is also quite lovely, especially since it was she who insisted to the junior surgeon on call that I had an infection (or inflamed breasts) when I came into clinic a month after. Both of them continue to greet and wish me well each time I come in for my follow-up appointments. Mr. Anthony Peel, the surgeon in charge of my right breast; the junior surgeons who assisted with the surgery (Sue and Rebecca?) and the anesthetists were also friendly and kind. Daniel Maruszewski another of the junior surgeons helped managed my pain medications post surgery and stayed late to admit me to hospital on that Friday evening I walked into clinic with an infection. Lastly, I really want to give praise to Neda Barzegar-Befroei, the most dedicated junior surgeon I met. I got to know Neda because my veins were too weak to take the double dose of IV antibiotics (4x/day) to treat my inflamed breasts. So, Neda was the one who found me a desperately needed vein when anaesthetists and multiple doctors failed to do so within my first 48 hours in the hospital. She was also someone who checked on me many times and made herself available if ever I needed to find another vein. She was calm and extremely caring---she really had a way to make you feel you were going to be alright. Thank you Neda! I haven’t even mentioned the physiotherapists, especially Kristi Hutton and Victoria from the charity that gave me free post-mastectomy bras. I’ve attended free sessions run by the psychologists on post surgery care and I’ve also been able to take advantage of the newly built Maggie’s Centre, borrowing their books, etc. Overall, the West Wing staff has really made my first hospital experience in the NHS a positive one. I am forever grateful to them. -J. Abastillas
I could not be more grateful for the care I received while staying in Ward 4C. I first entered Ward 4C for two days while I recovered from a risk-reducing bilateral mastectomy on July 2017. At that time I first met Dave, the ward manager and the following superstar nurses: Cassie, Ursula, Lauren, Manuel and Sushita. They all were kind, caring and wonderful! Unfortunately, I found myself back at Ward 4C for a full week in mid-August 2017. This time I spent it in a large, beautifully clean room with a view of St. Paul’s cathedral. I had a lot of worries and a bit of pain but it was definitely alleviated by the beautiful interactions I had with the staff, which highlighted London’s amazing diversity of backgrounds and experiences. I want to thank Aimee, Christy, Dhanaluxmi, Mabinty, Camilla, Daniella, Joyce, Mary, Hamda, Georgina, Muna, Susanna, Jorge, Mikas, Ryan, Margaret and everyone else who welcomed me and made my stay comfortable. Thank you for spending time to have a conversation with me and keeping my spirits high. Everyone from the nurses to the catering and cleaning staff were all knowledgeable and caring. It is incredibly obvious that Dave successfully runs a warm environment where everyone works well with one another to ensure that every patient has what they need. It was truly bittersweet to say goodbye. I wish everyone could experience the kind of hospital stay, I experienced. I know it’s a year later but I sure hope you are all doing well! -Jen Abastillas
From the moment I set foot Into the hospital until I left after my operation I experienced nothing but thoughtfulness, courtesy, skill, being listened to and the thought I was in very safe hands. It was an experience that I will never forget. A truly wonderful hospital staffed by personnel who really really cared and made me feel happy and who turned a day which commenced with foreboding into a rather good day. Your care and attention to detail was out of this world. I thank you all in the Cardiology Ward who looked after me before and after my pacemaker implant very very much indeed. I am now at home without pain an almost unaware I Have a pacemaker. My very best wishes to you all You are really the tops Alexander (Bill) Cameron Hospital number 10284974
Cardiology Dep. I was seen by Dr Eleni Nakou at the Cardiology Dep she showed to be a very good listener, she had commitment in her job , during the visit she showed compassion and humanity, she was very attentive, patient and she demonstrated to be very competent....