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  • Sarah Menzies

Guilt Revisited

The meeting at the hospital to review Lauren's treatment was, unsurprisingly, pretty awful. I didn't really expect anything else. Seeing a treatment schedule that ends "Sadly the patient died" is beyond heart wrenching.


There was never an option that I wouldn't go. It falls under responsibilities as Lauren's mum. There isn't much I can do for her anymore. I can't take to her ballet classes or theatre meetings, pick up after her, run her and her friends around, cook her meals, but I can go to reviews of her death.


There wasn't much unexpected at the meeting, they haven't invented time travel or cloning capabilities. The main issue from their point of view was the the time taken for the ambulance to arrive to transfer Lauren from Chorley to Preston hospital, and that staff where not aware of certain procedures. None of this made any difference to Lauren's treatment, but they look at it and discuss it to ensure that it does not have adverse effects to any future patient.


They told me that Lauren is considered and remembered often, she would have liked the fact that she made an impact. They also told us that she was probably the sickest person in the region that night. That had the inadvertent effect and bringing back all my feelings of guilt. How could I not see how sick she was, should I have sent her to school on Thursday, would taking her to hospital sooner made any difference... the list could just go on and on.


I've been in this guilt ridden place before, and I know that the answer is obvious. It doesn't matter. I could scrutinise every action by me, the rest of the family, the doctors, nurses, paramedics and even if I could find the slightest thing that could, maybe, have made a difference, it still wouldn't change anything, So from my point of view, its irrelevant and the last few days I've needed to remember and to tell myself that again.


I understand completely why the hospital need to carry out reviews, and obviously if examining Lauren's treatment will mean that someone else survives then that's clearly a good thing. I'm glad we got chance to let them know how grateful we are for Lauren's care, but I could do without the carousel of images that have been going round and round in my head this week. The images of Lauren in various hospitals, the memories of ambulance travel, and hope.


Needless to say plenty wine was drunk on Monday night. We broke our "Saturday only" rule for drinking. To be fair the rule was only created on Saturday so it was hardly long standing!


I'm grateful we went and had the opportunity to review Lauren's care, this week will be tough, but hopefully calmer times are ahead.







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