Stevie's mum wants hospital saved
FAMILY of a Felixstowe girl said today it was thanks to doctors and nurses at Felixstowe General Hospital that she lived as long as she did.Donna Mayes is convinced that without the nursing staff at the unit in Constable Road her daughter Stevie would have died sooner – and Ipswich Hospital would have been just too far away for some urgently-needed treatment.
FAMILY of a Felixstowe girl said today it was thanks to doctors and nurses at Felixstowe General Hospital that she lived as long as she did.
Donna Mayes is convinced that without the nursing staff at the unit in Constable Road her daughter Stevie would have died sooner – and Ipswich Hospital would have been just too far away for some urgently-needed treatment.
She is urging people to back the Hands Off The General campaign and fight the health authorities all the way over their moves to close the hospital.
Eight-year-old Stevie, of Walton, Felixstowe, died in June 2002 from a right pneumothorax – effectively a collapsed lung with her asthma being a contributory factor in her death.
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It left her mum and dad, also Stevie, and her brothers Daniel, now 19, and Jason, 16, devastated.
Mrs Mayes said: "Because of Stevie's severe asthma we often would use Felixstowe General Hospital and were regular visitors to the minor injuries unit for her to be put on the ventilator.
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"We were there so often that we were on first name terms with everyone – they would whisk us straight in and we would be seen immediately.
"It saved us that agonising drive with our daughter suffering an asthma attack to Ipswich for treatment.
"I am convinced there may have been times when we could not have got her to Ipswich in time.
"I think having the Felixstowe General Hospital here meant she was able to live longer than she might otherwise have done."
Little Stevie is permanently remembered with a memorial garden at her school, Causton Junior, where a liquid amber tree with burgundy leaves stands, bordered by copper beech hedges, by a plaque in the shape of a yellow flower in memory of the bubbly girl who was adored by all.
Flower pots packed with shrubs and flowers decorate a patio area nearby and her schoolfriends planted bulbs.
n People are still being encouraged to sign the petition and forms have been placed in all Felixstowe's doctor's surgeries and chemists, as well as a number of shops, pubs, cafes and other outlets.
They can also be signed at the Evening Star's new Felixstowe office at 172 Hamilton Road. People can also collect colour posters to display in windows.
Alternatively, people can sign the petition form on this page and send it in.
n What do you think of the state of the health service in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.