A West Norfolk man had the chance to thank the medical team who saved his life on prime-time TV.
James Mattless, a porter at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, appeared on BBC’s The One Show to talk about how his life was saved at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after a stroke.
What he did not realise is that consultant Dr Yogish Joshi and three other members of his team who cared for James were close by and joined him for his interview with popular presenter Sarah Greene.
Overwhelmed, James gave Dr Joshi an impromptu bear hug, and thanked fellow interventional neurioradiologist, Dr Thais Minett, who with Dr Joshi’s help removed the clot from James’ brain, reducing the chances of death or permanent injury.
Also brought in from behind the scenes at Cambridge’s historic Anstey Hall Hotel at Trumpington were consultant neurologist, Dr Smriti Agarwal, and specialist stroke nurse, Sarah Finlay.
Moments before James described how he’d always wanted to thank Dr Joshi, but hadn’t been sure who he was, or how to locate him. He said: “Dr Joshi saved me from a life of disability – I could have even died – so I can never say ‘thank you’ enough for what he did for me. I just want to shake his hand and say thank you – that would just be amazing.”
James, 31, had his stroke at home when he was just 27 and was taken to the QEH by ambulance. Dr Raj Shekhar, Consultant Stoke Medicine, and his team determined he needed a specialist treatment called a mechanical thrombectomy, which only a small group of patients are eligible for. The treatment is administered from a handful of highly specialised stroke unit’s, with Addenbrooke’s being the closest.
James returned to The QEH 72 hours later and spent a further 10 days on West Raynham ward where he received ongoing treatment and rehabilitation by a specialist stroke team.
After a three-year recovery, rebuilding his speech and mobility through the Stroke Association and The QEH Stroke Unit, he is now dedicated to raising awareness of stroke in young people.