Joann Kelly - Honour Your Heroes

Monday, 31 August, 2020

"I had my first child in 2011. Shortly after, I began to feel ill and was admitted to hospital. It took a while for doctors to figure out what was wrong but it turned out that I had a rare infection in my pelvis (Actinomycosis). It created a mass that was pressing on nerves and my kidney. Once the infection was identified my treatment began under the care of Professor Sam McConkey.

I underwent lots of procedures and regular scans and a long course of antibiotics. Even after I was discharged from hospital I had to take IV antibiotics that I had to prepare myself. I was eventually discharged from the Out-patients Department after nearly two years. Professor Sam McConkey was the first doctor to say ‘we will figure this out and get you well’. Every time I met him he was optimistic and helpful, even in the Out-patient Department which I attended weekly for a few months and then monthly for about 2 years.

He seemed to take a personal interest in me, remembering I was a dance teacher and other details that weren't in my file and really made me feel like he cared about my progress. The two ladies in the infectious disease reception always greeted me so warmly and helped to make me feel at ease on every visit. I've felt very proud to be able to give back to the infectious disease department by raising money through sponsorship by running the mini marathon the past two years and my husband fundraising this year too. Nominating Prof McConkey for an Honour Your Heroes award gives me another opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to him and his team for all the support and care I received”.

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