A 16-year-old hockey national team hopeful was taken to hospital in February after waking up ‘breathing like Darth Vader’.
Dr Jemimah Clarke told NHS board directors today (Wednesday) how her son Jamie Clarke had emergency surgery when what started with grazed knuckles developed into sepsis.
Jamie already plays in the City of York men’s hockey team and has been selected for England youth teams as well.
It all started with what appeared to be a minor injury in a hockey match, which didn’t initially concern Dr Clarke.
“During that incident where he nearly scored a goal he got a small graze on his knuckles,” she said.
“I didn’t think anything of it.”
Shortly after the seemingly innocuous injury, Jamie went on a skiing holiday to Italy with his family.
“During the ski trip he complained that he had strained his armpit,” said Dr Clarke, noting that it is not in her son’s nature to complain lightly.
He woke his family up one night and “was breathing like Darth Vader” according to the concerned mother.
After initially thinking that her son had contracted Covid-19, she was worried about getting on a plane with the virus, but was unable to get a test.
When they got home her son uncharacteristically laid on the sofa as soon as he walked through the door and vomited that night.
She phoned 111 and was told they had to go to hospital where Jamie would soon be operated on.
“He couldn’t finish his sentences or lift his arm up,” she said.
Dr Clarke was told by doctors there was a chance Jamie wouldn’t pull through.
“Jamie was so incredibly scared,” she added.
“He had 15 minutes to worry before being given the general anaesthetic.”
But after a successful operation, Jamie was back playing hockey within weeks and Dr Clarke praised hospital staff for their attentiveness.
She said: “I can’t say enough the care and attention that was given to Jamie, the personal interest, made such a difference to our family.
“He was in the right place.
“I didn’t feel that anything was going to get missed”.
Interim chair Mark Chamberlain commended Dr Clarke’s courage to tell her story.
He said: “It is always important to be reminded of what we are here for.
“We are here to provide excellent care but also we are to be kind.”