KING’S LYNN: Labour NHS campaigner saved by op
NHS campaigner Jo Rust was within two hours of death after suffering a chronic and sudden stomach condition.
Medics considered her condition so serious her husband was told to get to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital quickly as he might be saying goodbye to her.
But Lynn and District Trades Council secretary Ms Rust is now recovering from her near-death experience and was able to speak to the Lynn News from her hospital bed.
She said the problem was related to her health five years ago when she was overweight. It led to her undergoing an emergency six-hour operation.
Ms Rust, 46, said: “They contacted my husband, saying ‘You had better come now because you might be saying goodbye’.”
Husband Marcus, daughters, Holly and Emilia, father, Donald, and brothers, Jeremy and Jamie, rushed to the hospital.
After the operation, she was in the intensive care unit, under a medically-induced coma and on a life support machine for two days and then on the high dependency ward until Sunday.
She is now on a general ward.
She said: “The anaesthetist told me another couple of hours without treatment and I could have been dead.”
Ms Rust, who runs, cycles, works out and plays netball regularly, was told that it was her levels of fitness which had helped her to survive.
She said she had recently started losing more weight and feeling unwell.
On January 29, she was on a bus to Dereham, heading to a meeting at the Breckland Business Centre, when she felt “distinctly unwell”.
Ms Rust, of Gayton Road, Gaywood, managed to walk to the centre before collapsing into a chair in the reception area.
She said: “Fortunately they had an excellent first aider called Helen there who was a really reassuring presence at a time when I was feeling really scared. She was brilliant.”
Paramedics and an ambulance were called and she was taken to the Norwich hospital’s accident and emergency unit, where she had tests.
Ms Rust said: “I was in incredible pain and I thought it might be a heart attack, but they said the ecg test showed it wasn’t that.”
After a scan ruled out a possible blood clot on her lung, the gastroenterology team were called in to investigate.
Last Thursday, the team began what should have been a relatively routine procedure but they discovered a “very rare occurrence” and potentially life-threatening situation which needed immediate correction, she said.
It was her state of fitness which helped her survive, she was told.
She said: “My levels of fitness will hopefully aid my recovery from this near-death experience and I’m exceptionally chipper.
“I am so grateful for the care I received from the NHS. All levels of staff worked hard to get me better.
“I’ll never forget what I’ve received and intend to repay it any way I can.
“The Trades Council plans to start with the 65th birthday celebration of the NHS and a defend our public services event.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South west