Les's Life Threatening Situation Handled Quickly

Photo: Les & Marj John
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
At 85 Portland’s Les John has just endured the worst life-threatening pain of his life but thanks to Portland District Health he’s lived to tell the story.

Mr John had a window of just 12 hours when he presented at PDH with life-threatening bowel blockage.

The pain was excruciating, he said. I had a problem with a sciatica nerve years ago and spent eight days in Mildura hospital but this was worse.

Mr John was taken by ambulance to PDH after he woke with the stomach pain on February 15. An X-ray failed to show any problem but a cat-scan revealed the blockage.

PDH's resident surgeon Mr Turab Pishori calmly and clearly explained the situation to Mr John and his wife Marj.

He said we had a window of 12 hours. Ideally they would have sent me to Geelong or Melbourne because it's a technical operation but there wasn’t time, Mr John said.

I've worked in the ambulance service and ran a natural health clinic and I've never heard a doctor so quietly and precisely tell people what could happen and make it easy to understand, he said.

I was facing an untimely death if they didn’t operate within the window of 12 hours so it had to happen straight away.

The operation lasted more than two and a half hours and successfully removed the blocked 20 centimetres of Mr John’s bowel.

I was black and blue afterwards but everything went well, he said.

Everyone made me feel comfortable, from the staff in the urgent care centre to anaesthetist Dr Scott Deller and all the nursing staff who provided the follow-up care for the next eight days.

I appreciated the positive attitude and the teamwork of everyone working together and the attention they showed to me. The nursing staff went about their work with optimism and efficiency. The appointment of Ros Alexander as Director of Nursing was undoubtedly a well thought out appointment.

Mr John still feels some pain from the operation but his recovery and rehabilitation is going well.

I've always been active so being flattened like that was hard to take but I've made a very good recovery, he said.

Mr John might have to return to hospital soon for a hernia operation. I'll be going to Portland District Health; I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, he said.

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