On the 29th April Erika’s birthday gathered residents, staff, sisters and friends of Erika on a big party celebration at St Teresa’s home with lovely cakes and presents. Everyone expressed birthday wishes and their happiness for having Erika recovered and back in the home. As a birthday speech Erika recounted the story of her successful hip operation – from the moment of the fall until the birthday day. We very much enjoyed the humour in her story and her ability to take us in to the situation.
Erika was supposed to visit her dentist. Despite being a very good dentist, she dreaded going and was very taught. She wondered if, deep down, she did not want to subconsciously avoid the appointment – “I would prefer to fall down than go to the dentist”. But putting her will into it, she took the risk of walking on the upper part of Kings Road. Her osteopath had advised her to try and walk at least 30 minutes per day as, as he put it, “You are not an old lady yet”. It was also quite a beautiful day, sunny but a little windy and Erika was caught by a gust as she crossed the street. While she was quite proud that had she crossed safely there was another gust of strong wind and she remembers loosing her balance and being surprised to be on the pavement. It was only when a young couple tried to help her up that she experienced agonizing pan. They called a cab and Erika kindly asked the driver to swing by the dentist’s to cancel the appointment and then take her to St Teresa’s home. But due to her terrible pain the staff at the home suggested she go straight to Chelsea and Westminster hospital with the taxi, accompanied by the sisters from St Teresa’s. Erika said she felt extremely grateful for the excellent way with which the situation has been handled so she did not have to have extra movements or pain. The sisters called the hospital to notify them to expect Erika who, in turn, sent a few people at the entrance to help with her getting out of the taxi. She also remembered something that made her laugh as Sr. Anna, who accompanied her in the taxi, told her “They must think we are very important as there are 5 men waiting to help you!”.
The medical staff helped her out and sent her to the ER, where she was met by doctors and nurses with kindness and great humour. They wheeled her to the X-Ray room and confirmed she had a broken hip.
Erika had her operation the next morning and the doctor told her that she was a lucky lady as she got a new hip and the operation went very well. Erika spent three weeks in the hospital, receiving professional care and visited daily by the sisters from the home, family and friends.
She had been back at St Teresa’s for 5 days when we celebrated her birthday. It was a jolly party with a warm and family atmosphere and Erika said she felt so lucky and grateful for the organization of her treatment, from the moment of the fall to that very moment of her bithday celebration. She said that, in the hospital, she told the doctors she was going home and when she met all sisters and staff, waiting for her at the reception, welcoming and hugging her, she really felt that – arriving Home.