Hospital care ‘blooming great’


Say it with flowers: Tiana Byrne, Julie Stephens, Youssef (Joe) Khoury, Ramen Zwagerman, Talitha Mason and Anne Winning. Picture: Gary Sissons

PRESENTING 60 bunches of flowers to doctors and nursing staff at Frankston Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit is former patient Joe Khoury’s way of saying “thank you” for a job well done.

The gesture showed his appreciation for the comfort and care he received during a major abdominal operation and while he spent weeks recuperating.

“On 3 May I discovered by accident that I had a huge intra-abdominal AAA,” he said.

“On that day I was advised to seek an urgent referral from my local doctor to the vascular surgeon Dr Christopher Brooks, of Mornington, who sent me to Frankston Private Hospital to have a CT scan and other tests.

“By the end of the day, I had done everything that needed to be done and called my family to be at home to discuss it with them. They are all grown kids: two boys and a girl and three grandkids.

“I told them that all I ask is that they take care of each other and love one another. That was the worst part: facing reality with my kids.”

Googling the scenario proved problematic for the children as Mr Khoury’s symptoms pointed to a serious problem. That knowledge was upsetting to them.

“I was booked into Frankston Hospital on 25 May to have my operation but waiting for that day to come was so stressful,” he said.

“You’ve got to have faith in God and I prayed.

“Fortunately, everything went well. I was in the operating room for a long six-seven hours and then into ICU for three days and then to Bass Ward level 3 for 14 days.”

Mr Khoury said he “had recovered well thanks to everybody that was involved” in his treatment and care.

“The team in the operating room led by Dr Brooks to the around-the-clock care in the ICU was wonderful,” he said.

“Doctors and nurses were always on point looking after me 24/7 and they do it with the love and care.

“There is no word I can use to describe how wonderful everyone is to take care of me like that. Every day I was overwhelmed: they do their job with care and they are so happy to help you in as many ways as possible.”

Mr Khoury is angered that some people can criticise or even harm doctors and nurses.

“When you hear people abuse the doctors and nurses in the hospital it makes you sick to hear about it on current affairs shows or on the news.

“Why, why, why?” he asked.

“They are there to help you and take care of you: we don’t go to hospitals for holidays, we go because we have a problem or we are very sick. Once you are in there the care and the treatment they offer is amazing.

“I personally thank everyone for what they have done for me and I owe them my life.”

Bass Ward nurse unit manager Julie Stephens thanked Mr Khoury for the lovely flowers.

“They were truly appreciated by everybody and brought a lot of happiness to the staff,” Ms Stephens said.

“Talking to Mr Khoury and hearing about the emotional support we were able to provide him during a difficult time was really good feedback.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 10 July 2017

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