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Letter: I Want To Thank the People of Guildford

Published on: 24 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 24 Jul, 2015

thank-youFrom Garry Drake

On Tuesday, July 21st, my elderly mother and I decided to take a day trip to Guildford. We arrived at 09.15 from the Isle of Wight. Having spent the morning having a lovely time, visiting, we decided to head closer to home and spend the rest of the day in Portsmouth.

We headed off to the train station from the Friary at around 13.30. There was a sign pointing the way to the railway station and some scaffolding around the front of a building . Suddenly my mother tripped on a man hole cover and feel to the ground.

Some people stopped and asked if they could help. Having no idea the names of the roads etc. I quickly handed my mobile phone to a lady and asked her to phone for an ambulance which thankfully that she did.

Having contacted the ambulance service, two young off duty nurses came along and stopped to help. They said were not from the Royal Surrey County Hospital but, if I remember correctly, the Farnham Road Hospital.

I was grateful that they took charge of the situation, looking after my mother and talking to the ambulance service relaying the necessary information. I do know that one nurses gave her name to the ambulance service, unfortunately I was more interested in my mum’s health than remembering names.

A passing ambulance stopped, I think it was a patient transport ambulance. The crew got out, also to help, while we waited for the main ambulance to arrive. There were lots of passing people asking if they could help ranging from more off duty nurses to the passing public offering water etc that they had obviously just purchased from a shop somewhere.

Eventually the ambulance arrived and the two nurses helped the crew. Once my mum was ready to go to the hospital the two nurses shook hands with me and left. Regrettably I never took their names as both, my mother and myself would like to thank them properly for the great help and comfort they gave to my mum.

The ambulance crew were very good to my mum from start to finish. The staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital were great helping us as best they could regarding getting us out to go home as quickly as possible.

Having phoned for a taxi which arrived in minutes took us to the train station. Once there I was doing my best to help my mother when the station staff opened the gate for us and asked if they could help.

We wanted platform 4 the train going to Portsmouth harbour which we would have to walk down the ramp and up the other side. The Southwest train chap got a wheelchair for my mum and pushed her from platform to platform and once the train arrived he helped us on the train and said he would phone Portsmouth Harbour and arrange for a member of staff to meet us with a wheelchair.

Sure enough we arrived, the staff member was the waiting and helped us off the train. He wheeled my mum to the catamaran where the staff at Wightlink let the Southwest trains chap push her through a door they opened for him so he could wheel her onto the Catamaran. They said they would also contact Ryde staff to get a wheelchair to help her off, which they did.

We would very much like to put something in your paper thanking the people of Guildford for their kind help when passing us, asking if they could help in one way or another, the ambulance and hospital staff, and the staff at Southwest trains and Wightlink, but especially the two young nurses who stopped from virtually the time it happened to the time my mum was on the stretcher ready to leave in the ambulance.

I do hope that they will see this or, if not,  someone will read it and pass the message on.

Everyone was absolutely great in the help they gave to us and especially to my mum.

I will pass this on to The Farnham Road Hospital, The Royal Surrey County Hospital and to staff at Guildford Railway Station so that, hopefully, those involved can receive your thanks. Ed.


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Responses to Letter: I Want To Thank the People of Guildford

  1. Garry Drake Reply

    July 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    My mother suffered two fractures to her upper arm and the injury is giving her a few problems at the moment.

    I’ve taken time off work so I can care for her while she recovers. The fracture clinic said today (Friday 23 July) that nature will have to take over. It will take time and all they can really do is keep an eye on it to make sure things heal as the should do.

    Hopefully, it will not be too long. We have been told about eight weeks before I will be able to take her on trips out again.

    In the meantime I will keep an eye on the letter that you have so kindly published in your online newspaper and hopefully the nurses and other kind helpers will contact us via you.

  2. Mary Bedforth Reply

    July 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I wish Mrs Drake well for her recovery and am sorry that she tripped and fell. I Would suggest that her son makes sure that she is checked for osteoporosis.

    The people of Guildford are indeed kind, as Mr Drake says and as I have experienced.

    Many of the pavements in the town are lethal and a disgrace – eg the one leading from the Farnham Road car park across the railway bridge to the traffic lights.

    It is narrow and has a very uneven surface with several repaired patches. There is even a dilapidated road sign obstructing the pavement at the crossing point by the lights.

  3. Garry Drake Reply

    July 29, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    I would like to thank Mary Bedforth for her wishes and concerns for my mum.

    I read your letter just after you wrote it and wondered how to reply as you made me think after you said you had experienced “the kindness of people of Guildford”.

    These are my thoughts. It appears throughout the UK that money is now more important than the health of people. Having said that, I do wonder how much it would cost to have a hole filled, a manhole cover lowered or heightened compared to the NHS costs for something like my mum’s injury caused by not repairing them before it is to late?

    I imagine that the NHS costs would greatly outweigh the cost of a road/pavement repair. It would be very interesting to find out the NHS costs in the UK for genuine injuries caused by tripping and falling on the roads and pavements and how much it would cost to repair them before an injury is caused?

  4. H. Hart (Mrs) Reply

    August 6, 2015 at 10:02 am

    With reference to Garry Drake’s letter detailing his mother’s experiences in Guildford I am reminded of a phrase which appears in J Seizer’s latest novel, The Loveliest Woman in London which desribes Guildford as the ‘cultural centre of the south of England.

    Although suspecting that Ms Seizer may have had her tongue in her cheek it can be claimed with some justification that, “Many a true word is spoken in jest.”

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