1 min read

Editorial Monday 16 January 2012: The sharp end of healthcare

A friend of my wife's and mine is in intensive care in a London hospital, at the sharp end of healthcare.

You'd like Jayne if you met her. She is bright, courageous, warm-hearted, funny and sharp-witted: full of life. Altogether, she's a hard person to imagine being seriously ill. But that is what she is.

A machine is breathing for her.

Her boyfriend Richard is full of praise for the quality of the care she's getting.  The ICU is well-staffed, and the explanations from the team seem to be good. The medical team have concerns about her response to treatment, and she is struggling with a fever.

It's remarkably easy to forget how fragile life can be, until someone is in such a situation. Jayne's parents, friends and boyfriend are with her. She is surrounded by love, and we hope she is aware of it.

Jayne is a tough person. We cannot do anything directly to help her or improve her care.

We can hope for her, and think of her with love. We can feel the winter sunshine on our skin, and hope that she will see it and feel it soon.

That is what we can do. Perhaps it will be enough.