"Wonderful care and respect"
About: Royal Perth Hospital Royal Perth Hospital Perth 6000 http://www.rph.wa.gov.au/
Posted by Grateful family member (as ),
I want to acknowledge the wonderful care and respect shown to my very elderly father and our family in Dad's final hours.
I brought him into RPH emergency around 11pm on a Saturday night with severe abdominal pain. He had had 3 admissions to FSH over the previous 5-6 weeks but they hadn't found the cause of his problem.
From the moment we arrived at RPH emergency, we were taken care of and Dad was seen by a doctor within 15 minutes of arrival. I had counted 5 ambulances and 2 police cars outside emergency as we arrived and had expected a long wait for treatment.
A surgical doctor was allocated to Dad, Teddi (not sure of spelling), and she stayed with him throughout the night as she tried to work out what was the problem. I know she woke up her boss, Dr Sudhakar, a number of times throughout the night to report on progress and get advice. Finally, an abdominal scan revealed an impacted bowel, a serious condition requiring extensive surgery, unlikely that Dad would survive it at his age. And even if he did, the aftermath would be uncomfortable and unpleasant.
Dad had been in severe pain all night, painkillers were not helping, until the anaesthetist came to see Dad and worked out a cocktail of drugs to help with the pain. This gave Dad some relief.
Dad was moved to Ward 4A early on Sunday morning. The staff and medical team from that ward were also wonderful, making sure I understood what was happening and keeping me informed at all times (as I had been in emergency as well).
When Dr Sudhakar and his medical team came to see Dad that morning, Dad was still lucid enough to tell Dr Sudhakarhis wishes - no surgery, no more pain or suffering, he just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. He had had enough and was ready to pass on. Dr Sudhakar respected that, said he would try only non-invasive treatment to see whether Dad would respond. Hours later, when it was obvious Dad's condition was deteriorating, it was decided to cease all treatment other than pain management.
I was kept informed the whole time, Dad was placed in a single room and our family was made comfortable. Dad passed away peacefully the next day, at 11am.
I want to thank the staff in emergency and Ward 4A for the compassion, respect and care they showed to my father and all of us, at a very difficult time. Dad's passing was as he had hoped it to be, peaceful and relatively swift. And he had managed to live independently until his final trip to hospital. We were happy for him, though we miss him terribly.