A doting mum forced to start planning her son’s funeral has praised the medics who saved his life.
Thomas Hornby, 38, had to have three major operations after four abscesses developed on his brain – with his distraught loved ones told to prepare for the worst.
But top quality care at Royal Preston Hospital meant he is now at home recovering from his nine-week stay, with mum Diane, 60, full of praise for the hard-working medics there.
She said: “The NHS was amazing. They gave me my boy back and they supported the family as well.”
Thomas, who has Down syndrome and lives with his mum and long distance HGV driver dad, Dave, 59, in Garden Walk in Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, was rushed to hospital by ambulance after falling ill in January.
After suffering from a cold, he became lethargic.
One pupil dilated differently to the other, and he stopped responding to simple questions and commands.
A scan was carried out, which showed the seriousness of Thomas’s condition, and he was quickly sent for an emergency operation.
Diane, who works in a dementia home, said: “It was absolutely horrendous. Thomas had never been poorly before so it was all alien to us.”
Surgeons worked to reduce three of the abscesses, but left one deep one in the hope antibiotics would negate the need to operate on it.
When they didn’t work, Thomas was taken back from the critical care unit to the operating theatre.
Diane said: “They said they had to take the risk otherwise he might die.
“I was getting ready to go to the hospital one morning and I was thinking, ‘I want a Man Utd-themed funeral for him’.
“I would not want anybody to go through that.”
After a third operation to further reduce the size of the abscess, Thomas regained the movement in his left side.
He was discharged on World Down Syndrome Day – March 21 – and is now at home with his family.
And during his recovery he was thrilled to receive a letter from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, wishing him a speedy recovery.
Active and independent before his illness, Thomas would be out almost every night, and worked collecting glasses at his local pub, the Wheatheaf in Water Lane, at the weekend.
Though he will now require some physiotherapy, Diane hopes he will bounce back fully from his ordeal.
“Thomas is still a bit unsteady on his feet but we have the physios coming in to help with that,” she said.
She described the care and help given to Thomas and his family as ‘absolutely tremendous’, and singled out learning disability nurses Tracy Green and Lindsay Wood.
“I can’t thank these girls enough for what they have dones,” she added.
After ‘practically living’ at the hospital, in Sharoe Green Lane North, for the length of Thomas’s stay, Diane said she was offered meals and hot drinks, and grew close to the staff on Ward 2A.
She added: “I was crying my eyes out when we left.”
Diane and her beautician daughter Amy, 33, are now fundraising for the hospital and have raised almost £400 so far.
We are looking for inspirational stories of those individuals who have made a real difference – whether they are a dedicated GP, a wonderful community nurse, or a midwife who has helped a new mum through a difficult time. Write to us at Health Heroes Awards, The Lancashire Post, Avroe House, Avroe Crescent, Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool FY4 2DP or email us at email@example.com by Friday 4, May 2018.
Please include your own name and contact details, as well as the name and contact details of the person you are nominating, and a brief explanation why they deserve an award. Shortlisted nominees will be invited to the glittering awards presentation dinner at Ribby Hall Village on Wednesday June 6.For full details of the categories and criteria visit https://www.lep.co.uk/healthawards