NewsPatient Stories

Ken’s Story – A suspected stroke

For over 50 years Ken and his wife Rowena have been lucky to never need the use of emergency healthcare services or an ambulance. This changed in March earlier this year when Ken was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital with a suspected stroke.

“Ken felt very dizzy and unstable, the room was spinning for him and he started dry retching. Except for day surgery, neither of us has been in hospital, we are generally in good health and live active lives.”

After quickly being triaged, Ken was sent off for a CT scan and further blood tests which indicated that Ken had not had a stroke. Although concerned, Rowena remembers feeling a sense of calm, that the medical staff had the situation under control.

“Everyone was so helpful. The nursing staff made sure I was as comfortable as I could be, and their communication was wonderful. They kept checking in and explaining what was going to happen next.”

The hospital did further testing which indicated heart stress, Ken was admitted to Ward 7  where he was referred to see a cardiologist. Exhausted after spending the night in the Emergency Department with Ken, Rowena went home. Unfamiliar with the surroundings, Ken woke up worried and anxious later that night and started looking for Rowena. Concerned for his wellbeing and growing anxiety, the nurses were able to move him into a room closer to their station and arrange it so Rowena could stay with him overnight for the remainder of his stay.

“They even showed me what had happened to Ken’s heart due to some thickening of major arteries and advised that at this point medication was the best treatment option. We were very happy with this.  The level of staff attention at RNSH exceeded any we had seen before. We were just so impressed by the efficiency, the competency and the kindness.”

After their experience, Ken and Rowena decided to become regular donors to the NORTH foundation, to help support RNSH Emergency Department and ensure others have access to the same level of comfort and care.

“All the treatment we received was absolutely free, but we feel we should contribute. We are fortunate to have excellent public hospitals and I believe it is our civic duty to help them thrive –  if you’re in a position to donate, you’ve got a duty to do so.”

Rowena and Ken also decided to share their story as part of our tax appeal, find out more about the appeal here.

If you or a loved one have experienced patient services at one of our hospitals and are grateful for the care you received you are able to directly donate to support that Department or Unit through our Gifts of Gratitude Program. You also have the opportunity to write a message of thanks to our healthcare workers and let them know the impact that they have had on your life, leave your message here.


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