‘I’m so lucky to be alive,’ says Hucknall man

Richard Martinez and his wife Marie.
Richard Martinez and his wife Marie.

A HUCKNALL man says he owes his life to a medical team who used a new piece of equipment for the first time when his lungs started to fail.

Richard Martinez was admitted to hospital in October for surgery to remove an abscess, but became very ill after the operation due to complications.

“I was taken down to theatre and the next thing I can remember is that I woke up about a month later,” said Richard (35).

He went into respiratory failure and staff in the intensive care unit at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield, realised that quick action needed to be taken to save his life.

Dr Gareth Moncaster, consultant in critical care medicine, said: “Very quickly we got to the stage where our standard ventilator machines were unable to get enough oxygen into the blood and we had to think about alternatives.”

It was decided that Richard needed to be put on a high frequency oscillation ventilator - something that had never before been used at the hospital.

Consultant Som Sarkar, who had previous experience using the oscillator, came in on his weekend off to help the team set it up.

“It showed a fairly significant improvement over a period of time,” he said.

“Things were going the right way, but it was a rocky road at times.”

Richard was on the oscillator for nearly two weeks and needed a tracheostomy to help him breathe again by himself.

It was December 12 before he came out of hospital.

Said Richard: “I do owe my life to this team. There’s nothing I can say or do to thank them enough. I have got more time.

“It was life or death, it’s as simple as that,” said Dr Sarkar.

“I feel that without it, Richard would not be here today.”

Though the nursing team had received training on oscillatory ventilation, Richard was the first patient at King’s Mill who fitted the criteria for using it.

Dr Som Sarkar said: “I was very proud of how the nurses applied their clinical training to practice.”

Richard’s wife, Marie, was by his bedside every day.

She said: “We are just grateful he is here. Without the support of the staff, who have been absolutely amazing and our family, I don’t think we could have done it.”