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Ipswich: Relief for taxi trek patient Wendy who is back at home - and recovering from her ordeal

PUBLISHED: 17:43 20 March 2011

Andy and Wendy Weeding

Andy and Wendy Weeding

Archant

SUFFOLK: A critically-ill woman who was packed into a taxi at Ipswich Hospital and transferred 93 miles to London is now recovering from her ordeal and four-month hospital stay at home.

Wendy Weeding – who was discharged from St Mark’s in Harrow on Tuesday – opened up to the Evening Star about her appalling journey from Heath Road to the capital on February 17.

The 47-year-old, who lives in Hintlesham, had no medical supervision during the three-hour-and-20-minute trip, despite having an open wound on her abdomen and taking painkillers to dull the agony of her rare stomach ailment.

She was refused an ambulance by Ipswich Hospital because the £500 cost this would incur was deemed too high, she confirmed.

And she was transported to London wearing just a hospital gown and robe. Her open, weeping stomach wound was covered by a simple dressing that was sodden by the time she arrived at St Mark’s Hospital.

Mrs Weeding said the car journey was “uncomfortable” and left her feeling “sore”.

“I couldn’t believe it when they said they were sending me by taxi,” she said. “But I was told by hospital staff in Ipswich that St Mark’s would give my bed to someone else if I didn’t get there on that day.”

She also revealed when she arrived at the London facility that the taxi driver dumped her bags in reception and said he was “just a driver” before abandoning her.

She said: “I caught the eye of one St Mark’s staff and showed him my stomach wound had leaked onto my clothes and he got me a porter very quickly. The staff there were great.”

Mrs Weeding also stressed the nursing staff at Ipswich Hospital were “wonderful”.

At the time of the incident, Mrs Weeding’s husband Andy branded his wife’s treatment “an absolute disgrace” and was “furious” when he learned of her horrific taxi journey.

He said he was “delighted” to have her home. “I visited Ipswich hospital every day when Wendy was there,” he said.

“Sometimes twice a day. During the bad snow, it took me an hour and a half to get to the hospital.”

Although Mrs Weeding has not fully recovered, she has gained approximately two stone in weight after losing 6st last year.

She may have another operation in September, but at the moment the couple are focused on her celebratory homecoming.

“We’re going to do a Christmas day of our own,” said Mr Weeding. “We’ve still got all the presents wrapped and waiting.”

They are also looking forward to Mr Weeding’s son Lee’s wedding later this year.

Mrs Weeding, who has recently started eating again after being fed through a tube in her arm, said: “I had visions everyone else would be eating at the reception and I would be sitting watching. I’m so glad I can enjoy the day too.”

Commenting on the incident in February, a spokeperson from Ipswich Hospital said: “The independent investigation shows we did make a fundamental error in judgement and we will be making sure this never happens again.”

n Have you experienced a similar ordeal? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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