When Patrick Haumaha left Waikato Hospital over three months ago for Middlemore Hospital, most of staff that cared for him in Critical Care’s ICU were unsure if he survived.
Patrick first came to Waikato Hospital with 80 per cent burns to his body, requiring a transfer to Auckland for specialist care. After three months in Middlemore, Patrick returned to Waikato Hospital and with day by day improvements in his mobility, especially in his signing as Patrick is deaf, he wanted to go back and thank the team in ICU who saved his life.
With the support of qualified sign language interpreter Stephanie Awheto and Waikato DHB’s burn clinical nurse specialist Hannah Will they headed up to ICU to meet some of the nurses who first cared for Patrick. None of the team had seen or heard about him since he was sent up to Middlemore quite unwell and it was a nice surprise for them.
Waikato Hospital’s surgeons worked hard on Patrick’s hands, it was a focus for the team before Patrick was moved to Middlemore Hospital. One of Waikato’s plastic consultants Deirdre Seoighe and her team worked on Patrick three times a week in theatre for six weeks before he was transferred because they knew his hands were his lifeline for communication.
Patrick said: “When I first came in to hospital, I understand I was in a coma and I wasn’t conscious at all, I think I was quite swollen around my face my arms and I was in Waikato for about four weeks.
“I think the staff at Waikato Hospital thought I had died when I left, I was in a bit of shock too because I’d heard my burns were quite common for people to die from. I had been up in Auckland for three months and no one here had seen or heard from me, I really wanted to go up and personally thank the ICU team for saving my life.”
After six weeks of care since returning to Waikato Hospital, Patrick has been able to return home.