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Date: 23 September 2023

Time: 19:26

Elaine Fletcher's story

Elaine Fletcher's story

Elaine Fletcher wanted to show her appreciation to all the staff on the Harborne Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and, rather than buying flowers or chocolates, Elaine had something a bit more permanent in mind.

Elaine, aged 52 from Bloxwich near Walsall, commissioned a glass plaque which will be displayed on the ward, inscribed with a message of thanks to the whole team.

In April 2008, Elaine was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare condition more commonly found in teenagers. Elaine received chemotherapy to shrink her tumour, then surgery, followed by more chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

During her time on the ward, Elaine found the Patrick Room, a mini library run by volunteers, a wonderful source of further information, especially as her condition is so rare. She also found staying in an en-suite room at the The Bromley Wing an enormous help. The wing is situated opposite the main hospital building and has a lounge and dining room where patients can sit and watch television, or just enjoy the company of other residents. When Elaine was receiving radiotherapy twice a day it meant she didn’t have to spend the whole day travelling to and from the hospital.

After receiving treatment for a year, Elaine was discharged at the end of April 2009 and presented the Harborne Ward with the plaque. She said: “I wanted to express my gratitude to the whole team on the Harborne Ward and thought the best way to do it was to present them with something they can look at and know that someone out there really appreciates their care and expertise. I knew I wouldn’t be able to thank everyone in person so the plaque is my way of showing that I am grateful to every individual who has helped me over the last year.”

“The staff are really uplifting people and the whole team has a positive attitude. I am so thankful for their sensitivity and understanding. I was treated with respect, dignity and compassion, and the plaque is my way of expressing my appreciation. I will miss the staff and my fellow patients on the ward, but I’m so happy to be going home. My first grandchild is due this July and I am thrilled to be returning to my family to await the new arrival.”

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