MY husband and I live in Munster. When diagnosed in January with tumours in the eardrum and other areas of his face and head, my husband�s surgeon insisted the surgery be done at Joondalup hospital.
Now Joondalup is to us, as Munster is to Joondalup people I guess, the end of the earth.
I had to find accommodation near the hospital, as I wanted to be with my husband as much as possible. Travelling to and fro was not going to be an option and he ended up having two extensive operations and was in for three weeks.
All our family and friends live south of the river so we were going to be away from the comfort and support of those we love. We were devastated and felt so alone. What we did not count on were the wonderful, caring people we found at Joondalup hospital.
There was the front desk receptionist trying to help me with accommodation, free parking and just a friendly face to say hi to every morning. The admissions clerk put her arms around me and gave me a hug as my husband went for surgery and the nurses from Recovery came to give my husband a hug when he was in HDU.
The ward managers and the doctors and nursing staff in ICU, HDU and ward L1 were so kind and supportive.
The liaison officer sorted out for me to get meals, and organised for me to stay with my husband until he went into surgery.
The pastoral carers, the cleaners, the tea ladies; everyone I passed in the corridors or in the lifts were ready with a smile and a greeting.
Finally, the doctors involved, surgeons and plastic surgeons were never too busy to stop in and spend a bit of time in a casual and friendly manner.
On top of all this, when my accommodation was running out (and my money to pay for it) I met a wonderful woman whose hubby was also in ICU and she invited me to stay at her house just around the corner from the hospital.
This I did for a week, free of charge. We have become the best of friends and supported each other through some tough times.
My husband is now recuperating at home and we have so much gratitude for the wonderful treatment we received whilst in Joondalup: so many caring people made a terrible time easier.
One memory I will always have is looking up in the dark one night to wave goodbye to my husband from the car park, which his window overlooked, to see him there with some of the nurses all waving goodbye.
Thank you Joondalup.
MARIAN BYFIELD, Munster.