‘Two hours from death’: woman thanks Romford hospital lifesavers

�A woman who was just “a couple of hours” from death has this week returned to Queen’s Hospital to thank the staff who saved her life.

Sylvie Dean will be in high spirits for her 65th birthday next weekend, but she told the Recorder: “If it wasn’t for the team at Queen’s, I wouldn’t be celebrating it.”

Following surgery on a potentially deadly anuerysm in November, she was well enough yesterday (Thursday) to meet staff at the hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, for the first time since the operation.


On November 9 Sylvie, of Rom Crescent, Romford, believed she was suffering from a normal stomach upset, but when she passed blood she went to see her doctor the next morning.

She said: “He examined my stomach and said I should go straight to Queen’s Hospital.

“He had already rung the surgeon by the time I got there so they already knew what happened.

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“It was all systems go. I had all the tests done on the Thursday. They said, ‘If we don’t operate on you as soon as possible you’re going to die, maybe within a couple of hours’.”

Sylvie had a 7.2cm abdominal aortic aneurysm – a fault in the aorta artery, the biggest in the body, which has a high risk of rupturing.

Petrified for her life, Sylvie said she was “numb” when she arrived at the hospital and doesn’t remember much about what happened that day.

But she does clearly remember the care given to her by surgeon Gabriel Sayer.

“He could see from the look on my face how scared I was. He patted me on the shoulder and said ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to look after you as if you were my own mother’.”

After her operation she spent two weeks in the hospital, during which she said the care was “brilliant”.

She said that one of the surgical team – Kirsten Morgan-Baten – “was absolutely wonderful” on one occasion soon after her operation.

“She could see how upset I was and she stayed with me. She was supposed to go off duty at six and stayed with me until 7.15.”

Sylvie and Mr Sayer were re-united yesterday when Sylvie thanked him for his work.

He said: “I am delighted to see Mrs Dean again, looking so well.

“It gives a real boost to our hard-working staff to get thanks like this from a patient and I’m grateful to her for coming back to see us.”