Meet the patients: James

An unfortunate accident on a friend’s stag weekend in Cardiff left me on the floor with blood streaming through a deep and serious cut on the side of my right hand through to my middle finger.

Fast forward 24 hours and I found myself in Southampton General Hospital’s emergency department, complete with medical notes from the previous day in Wales.

I knew my fate early on: I had to have an exploratory operation to determine to what extent I had ruptured the two tendons in the finger, see if I had any other further damage to the nerves and then undergo repair.

As an accident-prone person, I have never been a fan of being in hospital, so when informed my operation was scheduled in for the Wednesday, with three days on a ward, to say I was apprehensive was an understatement.

The day before I was due for surgery, I was introduced to research nurse Kerry Gunner, who informed me that the injuries I had sustained qualified me to be part of a new medical trial.

The hospital wanted to trial a mechanical lubricant that would be injected into the tendon on repair to test whether it could help improve the healing process and improve mobility of the finger once fully healed.

As well as Kerry, I also met the surgeon who would be performing the operation, David Warwick. David made me feel completely at ease and explained everything simply and effectively.

The aftercare I have received has been superb; since surgery, I have been attending regular physio appointments at the Royal South Hants Hospital and also medical trial sessions.

For the duration of my stay, all the nurses made me feel welcome and made my stay a lot smoother. They were all very friendly and if I knew their names, I would individually thank them all.

In the future, if I have to stay overnight in any hospital, I hope it is Southampton General!

James Forder
24, from Southampton

First published in Connect issue 27.