Happy new year, how are you all?
First of all … don’t panic. I’m not going to talk about what’s been going on with me over the past few weeks.
Nor am I going to write about how my wonderful son is doing.
And – you’ll be especially happy to hear – this is not the recommencement of my blog [that’s next week, haha] but I wanted to capture how I was feeling because yesterday I was reminded about the difference between people who only work for the money and those who work for a passion.
So without going into all the details, my Mum is going to be having an operation very soon.
A big operation.
The good news – apart from the high success rate – is the wonderful NHS will be providing her this for free.
Yes, at absolutely no cost to her, she is getting an operation that will literally add life to her life.
I cannot tell you how utterly grateful and in awe I am about this.
However, due to the NHS not having much money, she will be discharged after only 5 days.
This is a major operation and given her age, 5 days may not really be enough … so while I’ll be in England to help her recovery … it became apparent to us that we would love it if she could spend another week or 2 in a hospital to help her properly recuperate as well as give us the peace of mind that if there are any side-effects or complications, there are medical staff who can assist immediately.
Now obviously to do this would cost money and of course, where my Mum is concerned I’m only too happy to pay … so last night I was on the phone calling a number of private hospitals in or around Nottingham.
Frankly I was appalled at the service I received.
Either people didn’t care, made things especially complicated or simply didn’t get back to me.
We’re talking about someone willing to pay many, many, many thousands of pounds but the general attitude was apathy.
Now of course I appreciate discussing medical assistance when you’re thousands of miles away is going to be difficult … but all I wanted to do was get some information on how/if it could be done as well as an indication of the cost.
After countless hours calling and emailing, only one private hospital sort-of gave me information and frankly it was like pulling teeth.
Anyway, as I was searching online, I saw that the NHS hospital my Mum is going to also has a small private practice … where the money they raise, goes back to helping the main NHS hospital.
So I rang the number and this lady called Lynn answered the phone.
I told her my situation and she told me the private service they offered was only for people willing to cover all the costs of the stay – including the operation – because beds were in very short supply and they couldn’t spare them just for people needing to recuperate.
When I asked for an indication of the cost to cover the whole period we were looking at, she said my Mum’s operation was very big and very complicated so with no private UK insurance, the financial implications would be huge.
Then she paused and said, “hang on a second” before disappearing.
A few minutes later she came back and said she had an idea.
The hospital has a hotel on site.
Maybe … just maybe … she could organise it so that we could hire a room there and then pay privately for the nurses and DR’s to visit my Mum at this location instead.
She didn’t know if it could be done and she didn’t know what the cost would be but she wanted to help.
She didn’t need to.
I’m sure she had better things to do.
And yet here she was, going out of her way to help.
Sure, you could say she did it because she wanted the hospital to earn money, but you could say that about all the fully private hospitals I spoke to and they didn’t want to lift a finger to accommodate my enquiries … the fact is, this woman – a member of the NHS – had compassion, empathy and a desire to help someone who was worried about their family member. Basically the traits that shows someone who puts the cause before the pay check.
People are so quick to criticise the national health service.
Sure there are problems … sure there is money wasted on needless red tape … sure they sometimes make mistakes … but it is an amazing, wonderful service that should be treasured, revered and invested in.
I still do not understand how so many American’s can regard free health care as evil. As far as I am concerned, it’s the people who think this that are the evil ones.
I hope to god this works out.
Not just because it means my Mum will be able to be treated by the same people who will do her operation.
Not just because it will give her – and me – massive peace of mind.
But because if I’m spending my money on health care, I’d rather give it to a place that believes – and invests – in humanity as opposed to just views patients as a profit centre … and I know my Mum feels that way too.
Whatever happens Lynn, thank you. You made me proud to be British.
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