Spire Leeds 25 year anniversary - patient stories

27 August 2014

Patients share their stories as Spire Leeds celebrates its 25 year anniversary.

Gordon Lancaster

Gordon Lancaster, 83, is a current patient of Spire Leeds Hospital.

He has lived in Leeds all his life and remembers playing rugby in the playing fields next to the hospital - now a housing development.

Gordon’s family has a special connection with Roundhay Hall as his father Harry and two uncles, Jim and Fred all fought in the First World War.

Gordon’s father, Harry, joined up in 1918 and returned home safely. His uncle Jim unfortunately succumbed to injuries sustained during the terrible fighting.

His younger uncle, Fred Lancaster, fought and was also injured. However Fred was repatriated and brought to the Roundhay Auxillary Convalescent Hospital to recover in September 1916 – 98 years ago.

That hospital is now Spire Leeds Hospital.

Fred Lancaster, seated, second row, third from left

A postcard featuring Fred Lancaster - seated,
second row, third from left - outside Roundhay
Auxillary Convalescent Hospital

   Reverse of the postcard

Reverse of the postcard - dated 17 September 1916.

Pauline Rowlands

Pauline Rowlands had suffered five miscarriages and in September 1989 she feared she was about to lose her sixth baby.

Under the care of consultant gynaecologist, Mr Peter Buchan, Pauline was admitted to the newly opened BUPA hospital.

She was discharged after two weeks of care and several months later she gave birth to a healthy baby – her third son, David.

Pauline recalls: “I truly believe that David was my miracle baby." 

"When I was in the early stages of pregnancy, I had been told that it was unlikely the baby would survive. Without the dedicated care of my consultant and nurses, there is a strong chance that my son would not be here today. Twenty-five years later, my son has recently qualified as a sports science teacher and is living happily with his girlfriend in Newcastle.”

Pauline has many fond memories of her time at the hospital. She said: “I was admitted to bedroom 206 on ward two. I clearly remember the patients in the rooms either side of me – one was a farmer and the other an airline pilot, both had heart surgery. We were all very impressed with the cleanliness of the hospital and the care, kindness and attention provided by the medical staff.”

Pauline continued: “My two young sons were always excited when they visited me especially when my husband took them into the garden to collect conkers. I remember on one occasion, my mischievous 4 year old son pressed the emergency call button in the en-suite bathroom – all the doctors and nurses came flying into the bedroom!”

Raymond Shaw

Raymond Shaw was one of the first patients to benefit from treatment at the new hospital - and 25 years later, he is still under the care of the same consultant.

After being diagnosed with angina in the 1980s, Raymond was referred to consultant cardiologist, Dr Gordon Williams. Following a series of tests and investigations at various other hospitals prior to the opening of BUPA Hospital Leeds, Raymond was pleased that the new hospital would allow him to have all his treatment under one roof.

He remembers his first appointment at the hospital very well. He recalls: “Dr Williams used to consult upstairs in Roundhay Hall. As I climbed the grandstaircase, I remember thinking how beautiful and palatial the building was – full of historical charm.”

Over the years, Raymond has been admitted to the hospital for various treatments and has also continued to see Dr Williams as an out-patient. 

Nine years ago, Dr Williams fitted Raymond with a pacemaker – which he believes has given him a new lease of life.

Raymond said: “The quality of care I have received from Dr Williams and the cardiology team at Spire Leeds has been excellent. I go for six monthly check-ups and I am always made to feel very welcome. Dr Williams’ secretary, Sandra Ellerbeck, has been incredibly helpful over the years and has become a good friend.”

In a strange twist of fate, Raymond recently discovered that his current GP, Dr Edward Bylina,was actually training under Dr Williams when Raymond was having his initial treatment.

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