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‘I want to thank them for the life-saving treatment’

27.04.17 Categories: Patient stories, Supporter stories

Simon Dredge ran the London Marathon and raised £3,434 for St Thomas’ to thank them for the life-saving treatment he received two years ago, following a powerboat accident.

‘In May 2015, I was knocked unconscious during a power boat accident in Southampton Solent. Although my father rescued me and gave me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, I was at first given a 0% prognosis.

‘When I was taken to the hospital (with paramedics, air ambulance and the RNLI all on hand to assist almost immediately at the incident site), I was checked into A&E and taken almost straightaway to intensive care. My parents were told, “Anyone who you would like to see Simon needs to come now, because we do not think he will make it”.’

‘This was devastating news for my family, but there was a possibility that a team from St Thomas’ Hospital in London could come down to provide specialist care. That is when my family first learnt about ECMO (Extra corporeal membrane oxygenation).

‘In intensive care medicine, ECMO can be used to help patients who are having both heart and lung difficulties. In my case, my lungs had collapsed and were not functioning and therefore ECMO allowed time for my lungs to recover whilst doing their job for them. It removes up to 6.5 litres of blood per minute from the body and artificially removes the CO2 and oxygenates the blood before it returns to the body.

Read more about our amazing ECMO team.

A miracle recovery

‘Thankfully the amazing team said they would come down to Southampton. Chris Meadows (the ECMO consultant) met with my family and told them about the procedure and the risks. Chris and his team then went and did what they do best. I was incredibly lucky and they said it had gone smoothly.’

‘Thanks to my amazing dad’s bravery and the critical care of the ECMO team, I pulled through. I was on ECMO for five days, which gave my lungs enough time to recover and repair themselves. I spent a total of 21 days at St Thomas’ Hospital before being transferred home.

‘Without the ECMO team and intensive care team in that unit, I would not be lucky enough to be around today. For that reason, I decided that I wanted to give something back, so I ran the London Marathon to raise money for the ECMO unit at St Thomas' Hospital.'

Read about how Simon’s family coped with this traumatic experience – and their wonderful fundraising support.