Fighting cancer one day at a time, with help from staff at The Walton Centre
Date: 12 May 2021
2020 was transformative for many, but for Annette Woollam itwas a life-changing year. Last August Annette was diagnosed with lung cancer and while being treated with immunotherapy, she began to struggle with communicating.
“I just couldn’t get my words out. It got to the point where I couldn’t remember my address or even my date of birth. At first I thought it was the stress of the diagnosis or the cancer treatment. I was so scared I didn’t know what was happening. In the end I called an ambulance. I don’t know how they found me, but I am so grateful, and the operator stayed on the line until they arrived. I was able to leave a message on my husband’s phone, it probably didn’t make much sense, but he was aware that I was struggling with finding the words.” Annette said.
Annette, 45, was sent for an emergency CT scan at the Countess of Chester, which revealed that the cancer had spread to her brain. She was referred to The Walton Centre for urgent neurosurgery, where Consultant Neurosurgeon Mr Andrew Brodbelt managed to remove the entire tumour. Her cognitive skills soon returned to normal with removal of the tumour, which was found in the speech and language centre of her brain.
Annette, from Chester, said: “I was so relieved that Mr Brodbelt was able to remove it so quickly and effectively. When I went for my follow-up appointment I wanted to give him a big hug for all he’s done – and I would’ve if it weren’t for the social distancing rules!
“Nurses are the first people you see when you come into hospital, and their kindness and care gave me confidence. I felt safe when they took me for surgery, and on Chavasse Ward in particular they were incredibly thoughtful. I could see it with how they cared for other patients too. I could tell they were smiling, even with their masks on! All the staff at The Walton Centre have been incredible and so supportive despite the restrictions. The whole process from referral to discharge ran like clockwork.”
Director of Nursing and Governance Lisa Salter said: “It’s fantastic to hear Annette’s feedback, especially as we are celebrating International Nurses Day this month. Each day our staff prove the care they deliver to patients is outstanding in a range of ways. It’s been an exceptional 12 months for staff, especially our nursing staff, and it’s important that they hear what they do to treat and support patients makes a big difference, like it has here with Annette.”
Annette continues to receive treatment for lung cancer at The Clatterbridge Cancer Trust and is being regularly scanned to monitor if the tumour returns.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a year” Annette continued. “I feel very lucky that we have a specialist neuroscience hospital like The Walton Centre. There’s still a long way to go with my cancer treatment, but I feel confident I can beat it with NHS support like this.”
Notes to editors
Further information, or to arrange a visit contact:
Sam Fleet, Snr External Communications Officer, on 0151 556 3397 or email email@example.com
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.
- The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission twice. The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England published its first rating on Friday 21 October 2016, following announced and unannounced inspection visits to the Trust in April 2016. The second was announced Monday 19 August 2019 after inspections in March and April 2019.
- For more information please visit: http://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611
Annette, 45, was sent for an emergency CT scan at the Countess of Chester, which revealed that the cancer had spread to her brain. She was referred to The Walton Centre for urgent neurosurgery, where Consultant Neurosurgeon Mr Andrew Brodbelt managed to remove the entire tumour.