An octogenarian stroke patient has presented Royal Bournemouth Hospital staff with a painting of the Dorset coast in gratitude for the treatment and support she received while in their care.
Southbourne resident Mary Smallman, 88, suffered a mini stroke two months ago and temporarily lost her speech. She was treated in the hospital’s Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) clinic, which specialises in picking up the warning signs for strokes and looks at active ways to prevent them happening in the future.
Mary was so happy with her treatment, she donated one of her own paintings which has now been mounted on the wall of an outpatient clinic room used by the TIA team.
Mary said: “Staff at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital have been wonderful and a real asset to me following my stroke. Dr Owen David and his team have been welcoming and very supportive throughout my treatment, making sure I was comfortable and informed every step of the way.
“Having my stroke was an extremely frightening experience, but the staff made all the difference. I just wanted to do something to say thank you and felt one of my paintings would also help brighten up the department.”
Mary discovered her love of art around six years ago and belongs to the University of the Third Age, a group that meets weekly to paint and write poetry.
Dr Owen David, Consultant Physician, said: “This painting is a great example of a patient recognising and appreciating the work that the TIA does on a daily basis. It is a lovely gesture and we thank Mary for this gift.
“The TIA is vital in enabling us to assess a patient who has had a small stroke, and organise investigations quickly such as brain scans, ultrasounds, heart tracing and blood tests in order to start appropriate medication. This in turn helps to reduce the risk of anything more serious happening in the future.”
The TIA clinic was originally set up 15 years ago and only had the capacity to see a maximum of six patients a week when it was first opened. It now operates seven days a week seeing around 42 patients.