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Family pays tribute to compassionate carers

When Amy Wood suffered a severe head injury in November 2014, it marked the beginning of a long rehabilitation road.

Amy was found lying at the bottom of the stairs at her house in Worcester – nearly 40 hours after returning from a meal out with a friend.

She has no memory of the accident. Police investigations found no evidence of an intruder; it seems the 39-year-old had suffered a severe blow to the head in falling down the stairs.

Amy’s lodger, returning after a long weekend, found her and called the ambulance that took her to the Worcester Royal Infirmary, from where she was quickly transferred to the specialist neurology unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Amy Wood and her parents with the Ward 8 team at Moseley Hall Hospital.
Amy Wood and her parents with the Ward 8 team at Moseley Hall Hospital.

After several hours’ surgery to relieve pressure on her brain resulting from the head injuries, Amy’s rehabilitation journey began at QEHB before she was transferred, a month later, to the stroke and specialist neurological rehabilitation unit at Moseley Hall Hospital.

Two months of intensive inpatient specialist neuro-rehabilitation followed when Amy – an occupational therapist by profession – was able to return home, with continuing support from the community stroke team and the Headway brain injury charity in Worcestershire.

Amy’s mum, Jennie, said the family was forever indebted to the dozens of healthcare professionals whose skills & compassion shone through during some dark and difficult times.

“From the first minute, the care and dedication shown by everyone has been quite phenomenal,” she said.

“You hear a lot of negative things said about the NHS; and sometimes it’s clear to see that the increasing demand for services is placing a lot of pressure on staff.

“But there has never been a moment when we felt that Amy wasn’t being treated with excellence  and complete compassion. As a family, we’ve really appreciated the way everyone treated Amy as an individual, giving her choices about her rehabilitation and including her in all decision-making.”

Amy’s dad Phil recalled how, when it became clear Amy was going to still be in hospital throughout the Christmas period, staff made sure the family could have lunch together on Christmas Day.

“As visitors, we always received a warm welcome from everyone on the ward and, indeed, throughout the hospital. The ward staff’s great kindness in facilitating our family Christmas lunch in the therapy area is particularly memorable!

 “The attitude of the staff towards Amy was always professional, cheerful and kind; she felt secure. We have seen how well this positive approach has empowered Amy in her continuing therapy at home.

“We are so grateful for the wonderful care and treatment Amy received from the specialist rehabilitation ward8  team at Moseley Hall. She has made excellent progress which is a clear response to the exceptionally high level of personal care and skills of the medical and therapeutic staff.”

A year since her accident, Amy’s recovery continues. After continuing assessment at brain injury outpatient clinics at Moseley Hall until October, Amy was formally discharged from Birmingham Community Healthcare. She continues to receive support from Headway and her community therapists in Worcester.

“Everyone was so kind to me, I’ll never forget the team on Ward 8 at Moseley Hall.”

  • As part of adapting to her changed circumstances, Amy has made good use of smartphone technology and would like to urge others to install an ‘in case of emergency (ICE)’ screensaver on their device, displaying the details of next of kin or other named individual to call in the event of an accident or injury.