The stunning flower arrangements for the funeral were created by the lovely Tanya Pedder in Belsize Park.
We do spend a great deal of time complaining about how poor a service the NHS offers, on the whole, to allergy and intolerance sufferers. And that is all too often true. But I do just want to record that in an emergency situation, they really do step up to the plate.
The care we received from the Royal Free for James before he died, although ultimately they could not save him, was exemplary. The ‘streeming’ teem in A&E recognised immediately that there was something seriously wrong and we were, within minutes, whisked out of the four hour queue and into a special unit. Again within minutes he was hooked up to every sort of life preserving machine and specialists had been summoned from the respiratory and intensive care unit. Within two hours he was on life support and in intensive care.
Once there, the care, both for James and for us, could not have been better or more understanding. They really fought for his life and were genuinely distressed when it became clear that there was nothing that could be done.
And what more horrible job can there be in medicine than telling a family that there is nothing that you can do. How do you tell a son, daughter, partner that you are going to withdraw life support from the person that they had breakfast with only two short days ago – and that they are going to die? There are no good ways. But if there are better ways, then those are the ways that the Royal Free staff told us. So thank you to Dr Jim Buckley and his team on the ICU unit.