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Stroke does not stop Mabel celebrating her centenary

13 December 2012

Health Care

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 service.

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 celebration possible."

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 stroke.

"Mabel is a fantastic patient and has asked us many intelligent questions."

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