The PENTAX nasendoscopy machine has the ability to look up the nose and down the back of the throat. This helps specialist speech and language therapists on the stroke unit to assess, treat and manage swallowing disorders of people resulting from a stroke. It also has the ability to record and play back images to help with swallowing therapy and training purposes.
The inspiration for securing a machine for Lincoln County Hospital’s stroke unit was Naomi Wentzell, who suffered a stroke on Thursday 20 August 2015. The 46 year old was at work when she collapsed and was rushed to Lincoln County Hospital.
She said: “When I woke up I was told I had suffered a stroke, but I was suffering from locked-in syndrome. I could hear and understand everything, but the only part of the body I could move were my eyes. It was so frightening and also frustrating.”
Naomi made a remarkable recovery thanks to the treatment and care at Lincoln County Hospital. She was on the stroke unit for seven weeks and five days, but the team believe she could have gone home even sooner if a machine similar to the one donated had been available.
She added: “I was so stubborn and wasn’t going to be beaten by the stroke. When I left I was able to walk out and I was talking. It just took a while to get my strength back.”
Naomi now volunteers on the stroke unit for the Stroke Association, talking to other patients and helping to reassure and advise them.
Angela Shimada, Advanced Practitioner Speech and Language Therapist from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust is based on the stroke unit at Lincoln County Hospital. She explained: “Naomi is a real success story. Initially she wasn’t able to eat or drink anything safely. She followed her exercise regime multiple times a day but in order to identify whether she could have anything to eat or drink safely and progress her swallowing rehabilitation we needed a machine like this.”
Physiotherapist Alwyn Sproul from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust says the new machine is going to help patients in their recovery. She added: “By having this new machine on the stroke unit it will improve outcomes, reduce length of stay and improve quality of life for our patients. It really is going to make a huge difference to patients.
“This impacts on more than just swallowing. Patients are able to participate in other rehabilitation, for example with the occupational therapists and physiotherapists more easily if they are not tethered to a feeding tube and a drip. Thank you to everybody who has made this possible. We are so grateful to have this very special machine.”
Naomi and the team were on hand to thank volunteers from the Friends of Lincoln Hospitals Association, who made the donation alongside United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Charitable Funds.
Gary Hewson from the Friends of Lincolnshire Hospitals Association added: “This is a fantastic piece of equipment that we know will be well used and will make such a difference.
“Thank you to all of the staff for their hard work and also to Naomi. It is great to hear of your recovery and also to see someone giving so much back to the hospital that helped them. It really is wonderful.”