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Physiotherapists changed my life, says patient!

Posted: 14 July 2017
Jodi-Ann Gayle, Communications Officer

“My life changed when I had my leg amputated on 17 September 2016. It was sudden and a real shock. I had little time to come to terms with it,” said Elizabeth Langton, inpatient at West Hertfordshire Hospitals. 

Picture of physiotherapists Gillian Winkworth and Ben Bream receiving a staff award from Trust Chairman Professor Steve BarnettAt the age of 50, Elizabeth’s life dramatically changed when her leg was amputated as a result of a blood clot. However, Elizabeth battled through with the support of physiotherapists Gillian Winkworth and Ben Bream. Elizabeth said: “Without the support of Gillian and Ben, my recuperation and recovery would have been long and difficult.”

Right from the day after her surgery, Gillian encouraged Elizabeth to think about her future and made sure she was as active as possible – she had Elizabeth out of her bed and moving around straight away.

Even though having a leg amputated is a traumatic experience, both Gillian and Ben made sure Elizabeth had a positive outlook on life. Elizabeth said: “They changed my life. I can honestly say that without them pushing me and making me focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do, my experience has been so much better than I could have imagined.”

She added: “I really want to take this opportunity to thank them, and the whole of the Physiotherapy and the Occupational Therapy department. They are often overlooked, and have given me drive, determination, positivity and – more importantly – a good outlook for the future. Thank you just does not say enough.”

Elizabeth nominated both Gillian and Ben for an award, praising the exceptional care she received from them. Her nomination saw them win annual staff awards of the year in the care category.

Gillian and Ben, physiotherapists, said: “Our job is to see patients who have had an amputation as soon as possible following surgery. The implementation of seven day working at West Herts Hospitals means we can see patients even on weekends, as was the case with Elizabeth. She was very motivated and keen to learn new techniques and challenges, which kept us on our toes. She is one of the most positive people we have ever met and she even started encouraging the other amputee patients.

 “We were both really touched by Elizabeth’s nomination. To win the annual award was extra special, as there were a lot of touching nominations and lovely stories of our hard working and caring colleagues.”

Ends

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  1. For more information, please contact Jodi-Ann Gayle, Communications Office in the Trust’s communications department on telephone: 01923 436 281 or email: info@whht.nhs.uk. Out of hours, please call 07900 228 031.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three sites at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. We are one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.