Michael Grade's loyal PA Ros Sloboda recalls her terrifying battle with sepsis

Mail Online | 7/8/2019 | Frances Hardy for the Daily Mail
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Ros Sloboda lay in a hospital bed, aware that her condition was life-threatening yet convinced that she would not be treated in time.

Her abject fear had turned to resignation: she felt her life was ebbing away.

Burst - Appendix - Bacteria - Rupture - Bloodstream

She had suffered a burst appendix and bacteria from the rupture had escaped into her bloodstream, triggering potentially fatal sepsis. Both conditions had been diagnosed — she'd been classified as an emergency — yet the London teaching hospital [which she chooses not to name] to which she'd been admitted continued to defer the operation to remove her appendix without explanation.

'My appendix was like a ticking time-bomb,' she recalls. 'I knew it had to come out urgently or the sepsis could escalate, even though I was on antibiotics.

Operation - Morning - Nothing - Happened

'I'd been told I'd have the operation the morning I was admitted. But nothing happened.'

A night and day passed. In agonising pain and sharply conscious of the danger she was in — in 1992, her father died of sepsis after contracting peritonitis, an infection of the stomach lining — Ros begged to see a doctor.

Registrar - Bedside - Scrubs - Wrung-out - Ros

The senior registrar who arrived at her bedside, still in theatre scrubs, looked wrung-out; exhausted. What she told Ros alarmed her even more. 'She said: 'If you're offered an operation at 3am, don't take it. We just haven't got the staff to look after you.' '

This 'extraordinary' admission terrified Ros: even doctors were acknowledging that our beloved, but beleaguered, NHS had neither the resources nor workforce to care for its patients safely.

Felt - Husband - Ivan - 'Afterwards - Home

'I felt detached, as if I was looking down on myself. I turned to my husband Ivan and said, 'I'm going to die,' ' she recalls. 'Afterwards he told me he got home and sat in his study staring into space and thinking, 'I'm going to lose her.' '

Ros is telling her story...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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