Senior Charge Nurse Gail Dunsmore caring for Fiona Phillips from Alexandria.
By Democrat reporter
A dialysis patient from Alexandria who was born with just one kidney, is singing the praises of the Vale Dialysis Team, five years on from first needing their help.
Fiona Phillips (48) only discovered she only had one kidney when she took dangerously ill five years ago and was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
She said: “I have had some health issues with my hip, pelvis and spine, which were picked up when I was three, but little did I know I was born with only one kidney!
“I was rushed to the RAH when my only kidney failed and my family was told to prepare for the worst. The care I got was exceptional, but due to the damage I have been on dialysis ever since.”
Fiona now receives dialysis at the Vale’s dedicated unit every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
She said: “The staff there are just amazing, they always go above and beyond for me and all the patients. I feel safe in their hands and feel I am always treated as an individual.
“From the minute I walk through the door, they are assessing me, how I am moving and they know just by looking at me when I am not doing so well. Twice I have been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth on their recommendation. The care we receive there is simply on a different level.
“Not only is the medical care exceptional, they also go the extra mile to make the whole experience a bit more tolerable. We dress up for Halloween, have quizzes and even karaoke – they are constantly trying to find ways of helping us pass the time and keep our spirits up.
“This week marks five years since I started dialysis and I just wanted to express how grateful I am to each and every one of them. They have saved my life.”
Senior Charge Nurse Gail Dunsmore was delighted to get the positive feedback.
She said: “We are very grateful to Fiona for taking the time to put pen to paper.
It’s mainly due to Fiona’s strength of character and her positive outlook in coping with haemodialysis which has allowed her to overcome the many challenges living with renal failure brings.
“Hopefully in the very near future, Fiona will be activated on the transplant list and receive a kidney transplant and that in itself is the most rewarding part of our job”.