Gosport man who spent months in hospital with paralysing disease says '˜I owe NHS staff my life'

EVERYTHING that happens in my life now is all down to the incredible NHS.

Saturday, 21st April 2018, 7:14 am
Updated Saturday, 21st April 2018, 3:36 pm
Eric and Maureen Chivers from Emsworth. Eric is heaping praise on the NHS for the superb teatment he recieved when he was in hospital with a serious illness Picture: Ian Hargreaves

That is message from Eric Chivers who says he owes his life to the fantastic staff who cared for him during his eight-month stint in hospital.

Mr Chivers spent more than a year recovering from the rare condition Guillain Barre Syndrome which causes paralysis.

As well as spending months at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, Portsmouth, he also had extensive physiotherapy to get him moving again.

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Mr Chivers, from Gosport, is sharing his experience as part of The News’ countdown to the NHS turning 70.

Launched earlier this month, our campaign is encouraging both employees and patients of the health service to share their experiences.

These will run until July 5 when the 70th anniversary of the NHS is celebrated.

Mr Chivers said: ‘Whenever we go into hospital for whatever reason, we all experience something different.

‘I had been in hospital a few times in later life for several reasons like an arthroscopy and a full knee replacement.

‘But in June 2014 I experienced something quite different. I was admitted to QA Hospital’s medical assessment unit with an ascending paralysis.

‘For a couple of days my diagnosis had them beaten, but a lumbar puncture identified my condition as Guillain Barre Syndrome.’

Mr Chivers does not remember all his time in hospital due to the condition which paralysed his body and affected his speech.

He was treated on a high dependency unit and spent months on the critical care ward.

During that time, his lungs collapsed, he had pneumonia and needed X-rays, scans and other treatments on a daily basis. But he said the level of care never wavered and he was constantly given high-quality care by staff.

When he was discharged, he underwent months of physiotherapy including hydrotherapy.

Mr Chivers added: ‘This whole episode took more than a year out of my life.

‘It was effectively a complete recovery from this illness which in the main is down to the supreme care and professional skills of the staff in Critical Care and F1 wards.

‘The physiotherapists never gave up me.

‘Everything that happens in my life now is all down to these people.

‘I really do owe them my life and my family and I are just so grateful.’

* Do you have a story or experience of the NHS you want to share as part of our NHS 70 countdown?

If so, email [email protected]