Don't scrap life-saving General plea

PENSIONER Charles Dewen today knows the full value of Felixstowe's precious community hospital – as he thanked its staff for saving his wife's life.It was alert nurses at the General Hospital who were convinced that his wife Eve had something seriously wrong and sent her to Ipswich Hospital intensive care.

PENSIONER Charles Dewen today knows the full value of Felixstowe's precious community hospital – as he thanked its staff for saving his wife's life.

It was alert nurses at the General Hospital who were convinced that his wife Eve had something seriously wrong and sent her to Ipswich Hospital intensive care.

After a series of tests, doctors there discovered she had a blood clot close to her lung which would have been life-threatening had they not found it in time.

Mr Dewen, 66, full time carer for his wife at their home in Kingsfleet Road, Felixstowe, said he could not thank the staff enough at Felixstowe and Ipswich, and his own GP, Dr Bob James, for all their help, care and support.


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"I am convinced that Felixstowe General Hospital saved her life. If she had not gone in there for respite care, the clot might never have been found and she would not be with us here today," said Mr Dewen.

"That hospital is loved and valued by everyone in the community and it would be a disgrace if it ever had to close.

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"My wife was given excellent care and treatment there by staff who were incredibly caring."

Health chiefs are about to draw up options for the future of the hospital in Constable Road and campaigners are keeping a close eye on what happens and have vowed to fight any move to close it.

Mrs Dewen, 73, a widow for 15 years, married Mr Dewen ten years ago – and he has been totally devoted to her as carer for eight of their ten years together.

She suffers from spinal spasms, has great difficulty walking and using her hands, and has had two knee replacements. She sleeps in a hospital bed at home.

Mr Dewen asked Dr James at the Orwell Road surgery to arrange respite care on July 4 at Felixstowe General after he became exhausted.

"I was so tired and just needed a couple of days to get back on my feet again. If Felixstowe General had not had a bed, I would not have let her go to Ipswich because I wanted her near me," he said.

"I rang the hospital and asked them to keep a special eye on her because I was so worried about her as she had not been well at all just before going in. Then the hospital rang me at 1am and sister Joyce Feltwell said she had been concerned about Eve's breathlessness and had sent her to Ipswich.

"Their first tests found nothing but they were also very concerned and the next day put a camera inside her and found the clot."

Mr Dewen thanked Mrs Feltwell, and also hospital manager Anne Clarke and matron Sue Bruce for all their support and help.

"I don't know what I would do without Charles – he is totally devoted to me, so understanding and caring. The staff at the hospital were marvellous, too, and I just think Felixstowe General is a wonderful place," said Mrs Dewen.

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