We documented the story of Reece's recovery from his shoulder injury in a Patient Story film.
We saw a variety of patients over the latter half of 2020. Many had had problems getting the right treatment due to NHS services being too busy - we were able to help many of them receive the treatment they needed. We also saw a large number of active and sporting patients - some of whom appear (with permission) in our gallery below.
The fight against Corona
Two people definitely deserve a special mention in this update: Colin Mackay, Professor Mackay's brother has been in the news as his company Symbiosis Pharmaceuticals based in Stirling was involved in manufacturing the coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca's and the University of Oxford at the time the vaccine was in clinical trials at various sites across the UK with Symbiosis being one of them. As we all know the vaccine known as AZD1222 has now been approved for full use after being shown to be highly effective against covid 19.
Read more here - 'Scottish firm helped develop vaccine'
“I am obviously very proud of my brother and his company’s involvement in the race to find an effective vaccine that will help save lives." said Professor Mackay
Duncan Allen aids fight heading in here
Many of our patients have met the fantastic consultant anesthetist Duncan Allen at Ross Hall hospital or indeed in the NHS. Because of his vast experience and previous use of the drug Dexamethasone, Duncan was able to explain how its use could be helpful for seriously ill Covid patients. This was proved to be the case in fact it has been shown to reduce deaths by up to a third. Duncan can be seen here talking about the drug here, unfortunately, as we know, the NHS is once again facing another wave of the virus, however Duncan's work on the use of the dexamethasone will have helped to save many lives. Read more here
Faculty meetings go online
India - where boys are prized over girls
It is still an inalienable truth in most parts of India, among both rich and poor, that sons are worth more than daughters. The Duncan fights hard for the education of girls, enrolling student nurses and, with its outreach programmes aimed at helping women and young girls.
The Duncan Hospital in Bihar had a difficult 2020 with over 50 members of staff contracting Corona virus as they struggled to keep treating patients and also to feed many local people in desperate need after a national lockdown was announced. Read more here
However by the end of 2020 staff at The Duncan were feeling more optimistic as they seemed to have weathered the storm. Patient numbers at the hospital recovered slowly and so the hospital was once again able to find full wages for staff and see long-term patients who had been unable to attend as well as treating new patients.
The remarkable tale of Aradhna and Prarthna
We would like to bring you one story in particular which has lifted spirits at The Duncan recently - the remarkable story of baby twin sisters. In a moving 2020 Blog post Senior Paediatrician Blessy Suchi wrote about twin baby girls that had been abandoned at The Duncan after the death of their mother. Born prematurely, the sisters weighed 1.1kg and 1.2kgs. These tiny fighters survived against all odds. In India it is a terrible fact but baby girls carry little worth to many families and are often abandoned or even worse, electively aborted (a practice that is illegal but is often still carried out). Blessy and her team resuscitated and treated the tiny babies, saving them but she always wondered, at what cost to them as newly abandoned orphans? So how wonderful for her and everyone else involved to hear a year later that not only have the girls been adopted but they are loved and are thriving. Blessy told us, "I Just want to share something amazing. It gave me goose bumps when I heard of it yesterday. You remember Aradhana and Prarthna, who we have all prayed about. All of us were very broken the day they were taken away to an orphanage and never knew what happened to them since. But a few days ago one of the incharges of the home told us that they were adopted and are in safe hands."
Due to social-media confidentiality reasons we are sadly unable to show you the wonderful video we have seen of the two little girls now - smiling, laughing and clearly loved; but it is heart warming to watch and gives true meaning to the work that Blessy and her team carry out at The Duncan.
Fundraising begins again for the Nursing School and Accommodation block.
Our next major fundraising effort has the education and future of local women in mind - In 2021 we will be resuming our DHCT fundraising drive for the new Nursing School and Accommodation block. This is a huge project that will provide desperately needed modern living quarters for the wonderful female nursing staff at The Duncan, where an education saves many from a life of poverty and continual hardship. We will shortly be announcing fantastic news about match funding for the huge project. Keep up to date here.