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“I was given a second chance by the NHS” Women praises NHS staff after surviving life-threatening blood clot

PUBLISHED: 09:25 19 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:34 19 April 2020

Derek and Brenda Moncur, from Norwich, have been married for 41 years. Picture: Derek Moncur

Derek and Brenda Moncur, from Norwich, have been married for 41 years. Picture: Derek Moncur

When Derek Moncur was told by doctors that his wife had a serious blood clot near her liver and might not survive, his world stopped.

Derek and Brenda Moncur have praised the NHS after they saved her life. Picture: Derek MoncurDerek and Brenda Moncur have praised the NHS after they saved her life. Picture: Derek Moncur

Two days before, on March 11, Brenda, 77, had been suffering from minor pains in her side, believed to be severe ingestion, when she collapsed in agony.

Mr Moncur rushed her to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and, after assessment in A&E, she was taken to the High Dependency Unit.

Mr Moncur, 83, and Mrs Moncur’s daughter were called in the middle of the night on March 13 and arrived at the NNUH, where four doctors said there was very little hope due to a serious blood clot near the liver.

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Brenda Moncur, 77, was told to expect the worst by doctors but was dubbed a 'miracle' by nurses when she survived. Picture: Derek MoncurBrenda Moncur, 77, was told to expect the worst by doctors but was dubbed a 'miracle' by nurses when she survived. Picture: Derek Moncur

Mr Moncur, who ran a newsagents in Sprowston for 30 years, said: “There is not a word that can describe hearing the news. Your life just cuts in a second. I’m incredibly close to my wife and family and it was heartbreaking.”

Doctors had transferred Mrs Moncur, who has 12 great grandchildren, to the Mulbarton Ward, where she received end-of-life care.

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Her daughter stayed with her for one week and Mr Moncur stayed for 22 days, during which he witnessed the bravery and kindness of medical staff.

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He said: “I saw how nurses were treating patients throughout the night, people who were seriously ill, and the dedication was unbelievable.

“The way they treated us was as if we were family. When I would go to the kitchen, even if it was at 3am in the morning, the nurses would come and chat to me and they would come first thing in the morning to see Brenda.

“She is a fighter but staff were there for her 24 hours a day.”

Over the course of the treatment, Mrs Moncur defied the odds and her condition began to improve, with nurses nicknaming her ‘miracle’.

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She said: “I had a special little group of nurses who looked after me and I can never thank them enough for being so kind. I was given a second chance by the NHS. They didn’t give up on me and I was very lucky.”

Mrs Moncur, who met Mr Moncur through an old school friend, was discharged from the NNUH on April 7 to recover at home.

She added: “I’m feeling a lot better. You can’t praise the NHS enough.”


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