A microwave for the team who saved Dennis’ life | Latest news

A microwave for the team who saved Dennis’ life

Pictured back row left to right: Ruth Heaton (Health Care Assistant), Senior Sister Ruth Geary, Elaine Long (Dennis’ wife), Dr Joanna Aldoon and Mary Hepworth (Student Nurse). Front row: Dennis Long. Former Wakefield Trinity full-back Dennis Long has thanked hospital staff for helping him tackle liver damage – by buying them a microwave!

Dennis (72) has Cirrhosis of the liver which is so serious he has been admitted to Pinderfields four times since Christmas and has been a regular on Gate 44 for the past seven years. Even though his condition can cause serious pain it hasn’t stopped Dennis from caring for the team who cared for him. And he has now ensured they get a daily hot meal.

“There’s no other ward for me than this and there’s no doubt that I’m still here today thanks to the wonderful care of my consultant Dr Deven Vani and his team,” said Dennis, who has since been discharged from Gate 44 which deals with seriously ill patients.

He continued: “Dr Vani is so caring about everyone. He really has my best interests at heart and nothing is ever too much trouble, he has an excellent bedside manner. He was off-duty when I was last ill, but he still spoke to my wife Elaine and his secretary, Ellen, is also wonderful she’s always available whenever I call. It makes you feel like you’re getting a really personal service.”

Dennis saw how hard the staff worked and wanted to get them something to show his appreciation. The team said they needed a microwave so that they could warm up food and have a proper meal. Before Dennis’ donation, staff only had the choice of eating sandwiches and salads, unless they visited the canteen.

Sister Maria O’Connor said: “Time is a big element in our work and when our patients are really sick we don’t want to leave the ward. This is such a generous gesture and now we don’t have to carry hot food up a couple of floors.”

A former building consultant who helped transform old and derelict buildings into supermarkets, Dennis once worked on a project to improve ceilings at the old Pinderfields hospital. “Perhaps they should bring me back” he joked, “I might be able to save them some money!”

To learn more about cirrhosis, visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cirrhosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx