A DEDICATED team of hospital staff managed to get a mother of the bride to the church in time in an ambulance – after saving her life.
Grandmother and mum of three Frances Wilkins, 56, was rushed into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Acute Medical Unit (AMU) with an acute headache and loss of movement in both her arms.
Staff worked round the clock to get to the root of her condition as distraught daughter Elizabeth Bolton saw the chances of her mum making her wedding narrow by the minute.
Elizabeth said: “Dr Tanzeem Raza came to check up on mum on Friday afternoon and I just told him to get my mum well as I was supposed to be getting married the next Friday.
I couldn’t imagine mum not being there on the most important day of my life.”
When tests for infections, cancers and meningitis failed to identify the cause of Frances’ symptoms, the consultant requested a specialist MRI scan.
He said: “I spoke urgently with my radiology colleague, Dr Paula McAlinden, who went out of her way to perform a very specific type of MRI scan which is generally not available out of hours.”
Frances was then diagnosed with Churg-Strauss syndrome – an extremely rare life-threatening disease attacking the respiratory system and vital organs – and was immediately started on a course of treatment.
Frances said: “If they hadn't diagnosed me when they did, I either would have had very severe brain damage or not been here at all.”
However Frances was still very weak, so staff set up an iPad to allow her to watch her daughter’s wedding over the internet from her hospital bed.
But Sister Kelly Spaven reorganised the rotas to ensure Frances could be escorted to the wedding by staff nurse Beth Tucker and they travelled together by ambulance to the wedding.
Bride Elizabeth said: “I didn’t know mum was going to be there until the last minute.
“When I’d walked down the aisle, I just ran over and gave her a big hug, it was really emotional.”
Frances added: “This hospital has been fantastic and the care I received was outstanding, especially the way they got me to the wedding.
“It was way beyond their jobs and I wouldn’t have made it to the wedding without them.”