Stroke does not stop Mabel celebrating her centenary
13 December 2012
Mabel Glennie’s family were all set to celebrate her 100th birthday in the Canvey care home where she is a resident. Instead, they all gathered at Southend University Hospital’s acute stroke unit where Mabel spent her landmark day recovering from a stroke.
Mabel fell ill just over two weeks ago as she was eating her
breakfast at Silverpoint Court, Canvey. Luckily, staff immediately
recognised the signs and got her to hospital in time for her to
have life-saving thrombolytic drugs. She became the hospital's
oldest patient to receive the clot-busting medication and also the
oldest to be given a gastroscopy to allow her to receive nutrition
via a nasal tube.
As a child, Mabel and her family went to live in a disused
railway carriage on Dungeness beach when her church choir master
father lost the family home. She started her working life in
service, grafting her way up from a tweenie (who helped both the
housemaid and cook) to a fully-fledged cook. After marrying Bill,
she moved to Canvey Island where just months later their home was
deluged by six feet of water in the 1953 Canvey floods.
She then went on to work for many years for the Red Cross on the
Island, earning herself a couple of medals to commemorate her long
At the grand age of 90, Mabel documented it all in a book 'A
Life Worth Living' which her family had published. Many of them
were at the hospital to mark her centenary.
One of her two daughters, Cindy Cudby, from Benfleet, said; "Mum
has had a most unusual life but a fantastic one. Now she has had
another hurdle to get over.
"We would all like to thank the stroke unit staff for all the
wonderful care they have given her and for making her birthday
Sadly, Mabel's other daughter, Anne, was unable to make the
party due to a bout of sickness.
Although she is unable to swallow, Mabel was well enough to
enjoy a taste of her favourite Baileys liqueur on her lips as the
family gathered in the patient information room.
Her consultant, Dr Devesh Sinha, said: "Not only is she our
oldest stroke patient ever to be given thrombolysis, she has made a
fantastic recovery from the stroke.
"We firmly believe age is no bar to any treatment so we also did
further investigations including a gastroscopy. If her nutrition is
good, she is more likely to make a good recovery from the
"Mabel is a fantastic patient and has asked us many intelligent
Mabel's recovery comes as Southend University Hospital was once
again named as one of the country's best performing stroke units in
the highly-regarded Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme
(SSNAP) published by the Royal College of Physicians. In addition,
independent statistics from the Dr Foster organisation have shown
that Southend has one of the lowest death rates from stroke, not
only in the east of England, but in the whole country.
Lead stroke physician, Dr Paul Guyler, said: "We are nationally
recognised for having an excellent stroke unit and for many years
we have been in the top quartile of acute stroke units in the
country. This, combined with the recognition that our patients are
less likely to die and more likely to have an excellent recovery is
great news for patients in the area.
"We are always striving to improve the quality of our stroke
service, and it is about to get even better with the introduction
of our new early supportive discharge team in the new year which
will provide rehabilitation, practical and psychological support
for stroke patients."
With pic: Mabel with daughter Cindy Cudby, consultant Dr Devesh
Sinha, and some of her large family