A Burton mum received a speeding ticket as she rushed her son 100 miles to hospital when his appendix burst.
Nicky Wright, 54, was in London with husband Adam and son Jake. Adam was working on a cruise ship set to depart from Tower Bridge to Belgium when Jake began to feel unwell on the Saturday night.
Nicky, who lives in Drakelow, said she was immediately worried when Jake complained of severe abdominal pains, thinking it could be his appendix.
Reluctant to take Jake to a hospital in London, and remembering a friend had told her to go to Royal Derby Hospital if she ever had an emergency, Nicky drove her son back to the Midlands on the Sunday morning, even getting a speeding ticket in the process, which was later scrapped by the Metropolitan Police once Nicky explained the situation.
Nicky said: "Before we moved to Drakelow, we lived in Alrewas. My next door neighbour said that if Jake was ever sick, I should make sure that I took him to Royal Derby Hospital because they had a fantastic dedicated children's hosptial. I never forgot and when I realised how poorly Jake was, her words were just stuck in my mind and I just knew that I had to go to Derby."
When the pair arrived at Derbyshire Children's Hospital, which is located within the Royal Derby Hospital, they were seen within five minutes and Nicky's fears were confirmed; Jake had a burst appendix. Later that day, doctors operated on Jake for four hours and in the evening, dad Adam arrived at the hospital to join his family.
Now, Nicky has praised the hospital for the care they gave Jake, and the support they offered her before Adam arrived. The ward has even been honoured with a Pride of Derby Best Team award after Jake's positive experience among many others.
Nicky said: "Looking back, I probably should have taken him to a hospital in London, but it just stuck in my head that I'd been told to go to Derby.
"Every single member of staff went above and beyond what was expected of them. We lived in the Puffin Ward for five days and couldn't fault a thing. During our stay, we saw Dr James Blackwell every single day and it was such a comfort to know he had seen Jake right from the moment he was diagnosed.
"We were privileged to meet so many wonderful nurses and doctors who cared for Jake day and night. The hours they put in and the respect they had for my 14-year-old son was so appreciated. Jake even said he missed them all when he came home!"
To say thank you, Jake has now nominated student nurse, Amy Leeson, for a Pride of Derby Award after she stayed more than two hours after her shift to stay by his side through the four-hour surgery.
University of Nottingham student Amy said: "I made a promise to Jake's mum that I would stay with him, so there was no chance that I was going to leave him. He's so funny and was really appreciative of everything that everyone was doing for him. I've always wanted to work with kids, so I was happy to help."
Paediatrics general manager, Andy March, said: "It's fantastic that the Puffin Ward has been recognised in this way. It's an area that receives very positive feedback from our patients and their parents on a consistent basis.
"The way the whole ward looked after Jake is a great example of the dedication of our staff to go above and beyond for our patients. We provide a service for the parents as well as the patients, so it's great to hear about Nicky and Jake's positive hospital experience."
Jake stayed in hospital for five days, and is now well on the road to making a full recovery.
Symptoms of appendicitis
Appendicitis affects many people, but if the condition develops or the appendix bursts, it can be life-threatening. The condition is marked by a sharp pain in the lower right abdomen where the appendix is located - and the pain gets worse with movement, deep breaths, coughing, and sneezing.
Other symptoms include:
- Inability to pass gas
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal swelling