Shotley Bridge Hospital

A Memory of Shotley Bridge.

I hope you will indulge me a little as this memory is not mine but my late mother's. In 1953 my mum was 13 years old. Her name was Eleanor Williamson and she was admitted to Shotley Bridge Hospital into the care of Dr C E M Kellett. She was suffering with Septicemia and was barely clinging to life.

This is not an exaggeration by any means. One of the nurses caring for Mum told my grandmother that they couldn't understand how Mum's bones hadn't collapsed with all the pus and poison in her system. My mum was treated with new medicines, injected many times every day. She was subjected to having her arms and legs cut open to get the poison out of her system. No-one is really sure how her heart didn't give out before the medication had a chance to take effect. All her hair fell out and she was paralyzed from the neck down. The nursing staff at Shotley Bridge saved my mother's life. The care she received there, given how little was known about this illness at the time, was second to none and every member of staff worked hard to save her. It took months of hard work, dedication and revolutionary drugs to save my mum. Dr Kellett in particular, who Mum always described as "a real gentleman and a very gentle man", with his knowledge and expertise, is to be thanked because what he and his staff achieved at the time was nothing short of a miracle. Sadly Dr. Kellett died in 1978. Shotley Bridge Hospital and its staff, hold a very special place in the hearts of my sisters and I for obvious reasons and we will be forever grateful to them.

Added 21 April 2015


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