Turnaround: Damon Saunders is one of the Continuing Care Unit&rsquo;s biggest success stories &mdash; he almost died two weeks after a hit and run accident that left him with bleeding on the brain. The 39-year-old has made a significant recovery. He is pictured with Susan Brandham. <em>*Photo by Kageaki Smith</em>
Turnaround: Damon Saunders is one of the Continuing Care Unit’s biggest success stories — he almost died two weeks after a hit and run accident that left him with bleeding on the brain. The 39-year-old has made a significant recovery. He is pictured with Susan Brandham. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: Patients often arrive in the hospital’s Continuing Care Unit clinging to life.

Some are unable to talk, move or even eat for themselves after enduring traumas ranging from road traffic accidents to strokes.

But a combination of patient willpower, staff commitment and family love has seen two patients come back from death’s door.

Today the Bermuda Sun tells the uplifting stories of these extraordinary medical recoveries. They offer proof that you should never give up and that where there is life, there is hope.

 

Mending lives, one patient at a time
Continuing Care Unit help patients close to death to recover


By Simon Jones

The hospital’s Continuing Care Unit sees the complete spectrum of patients come through its doors.

And it has helped men and women who were on death’s door when they arrived return to the community.

The lower floor currently caters for 52 patients with varying degrees of incapacity and illness.

They range from a 22-year-old road accident victim who has to be continually ventilated to a 96-year-old patient who suffered a stroke and is no longer able to walk.

Staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and some of the lower floor residents have been in the unit for more than 30 years.

While the upper two CCU floors cater for just over 60 patients with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Clinical Director, Maxine Simmons, told the Bermuda Sun: “We take every day as it comes.

“In most cases we are dealing with long term care but have seen some real success stories recently on the lower floor.

“We have five patients that have reached the stage where we are looking to find alternative placements for them.

“Many have shown a 360 degree turnaround since they have been with us.

“When they arrived they could not function in the community but now they are ready to make that return to society.

“It can be a very hard job for staff but it is also very rewarding when you witness that change.”

Marina Cann, the unit’s assistant manager, added: “The success stories we have had come down to commitment and hard work.

“Damon Saunders (pictured above right) has been one of our biggest success stories.

“When he came in from Johns Hopkins we did not know how long he was going to live.

“To see the great improvement he has made with the help of staff and a very supportive family is very rewarding.”