It all started with a sunhat…
“I was staying on Bryher when my sunhat blew off on the top of South Hill, landing irretrievably in a gorse bush down below. So I set off on a Saturday morning to St Mary’s to buy another.
By some fluke and a twist, I cut my leg on one of the lifeboat fitments under the seats on the boat – a boatman quickly bandaged it up, but the boat was turned around back to a waiting car ambulance to take me up to St Mary’s Hospital.
The next predicament was my mobile phone battery was nearly flat, and my husband’s, back in our holiday cottage, was totally dud. The Hospital was able to contact our landlady, who let him know.
The leg needed stitching, but unfortunately, there was no available doctor, so at about 7 p.m. (after a welcome bowl of soup), I found myself strapped into a helicopter on my way to A & E in The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Perhaps I should mention I am very deaf, which can make any situation quite difficult.
Waiting my turn, with little life in my mobile, for three or four hours in a wheelchair, worrying and scared stiff of where and how I was going to find somewhere to spend the night, was something of a nightmare at the time.
I felt very alone. Eventually, near midnight, my leg was looked after by a doctor who said I was now discharged – but in a strange town with nowhere to go!
Fortunately, a kindly nurse realised my problem and took me to one of the darkened wards of sleeping patients. The sister in charge threw up her hands in horror and whispered, “She can’t come in here!” But my guardian angel nurse persisted, and I was led to an empty bed. What a relief!
Come the morning being a Sunday, there was no Scillonian or any aircraft back to St Mary’s. Back on Bryher, my husband, with the help of Kris Taylor, contacted the hospital and arranged for me to have a taxi to The Longboat Inn in Penzance for Sunday night and a flight booked back on Monday morning.
A big thank you to all those who were kind to an elderly deaf lady. However, with that experience, I fully support the need for The Island Haven for relatives and friends of patients from the Islands who may find themselves in the Royal Cornwall Hospital.”