Professor Stephen Westaby, a world-renowned heart surgeon and author of popular books Fragile Lives and The Knife’s Edge, has thanked staff at Katharine House for their recent care of his father Ken who able to enjoy his 100 birthday last Friday (27 May) thanks to his recovery.
Seven weeks ago, 99-year-old Ken Westaby came to Katharine House for palliative care after a stay at John Radcliffe. Suspected of suffering from covid, he was unable to swallow medication, liquid or food and couldn’t get out of bed or stand. His family were certain that he would not survive more than a few days.
His father said: “He came to Katharine House, and we assumed that he would just get the care he needed to be on his way. But instead, he got kindness, he got help and he got better.
“The turnaround was so remarkable. The covid resolved itself which, in a 100-year-old patient, is extraordinary in itself, as the neurological effects can be devastating. He had lost his memory but that greatly improved. After just two weeks, he came back to us.”
“The care and encouragement provided by Katharine House were outstanding and resulted in a discharge to my home. I have no doubt that it was because of the nurses and the cheerfulness of the people around him that he started to get better. That really stimulated him.
“The fact that my father survived at all is nothing short of miraculous. The splendid Katherine House deserves recognition for it’s amazing work.”
Originally from Scunthorpe, Ken was a former soldier in the Royal Air Force, working on the bombers in Africa. When he left service, he went into retail and rose through the ranks to become a chief buyer at the Co Op.
He had two sons with his late wife Doreen - both of whom are accomplished medical professionals – as well as six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. On Saturday, May 28, he celebrated his 100-year birthday with a party surrounded by loved ones – and with a telegram from the Queen.