Close Button

Former GP praises Benenden Hospital staff

A man has heaped praise on staff at Benenden Hospital for saving his life when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the hospital’s restaurant.

Jerry Gledhill was visiting the private hospital with his wife, who was there for bilateral cataract surgery, on 3rd April. They were ordering food in the busy on-site restaurant, The Pavilion, when Jerry collapsed.

The restaurant staff were swift to react, with members of the catering team being the first to administer CPR whilst a colleague was on the phone to an ambulance call handler. The hospital’s emergency response team were quickly on the scene with resuscitation equipment and a defibrillator.

It was 40 minutes before Jerry’s pulse returned and once stabilised, although still critically ill, the air ambulance team airlifted him to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford for further intensive care treatment.  

Jerry, a former GP, said he remembered nothing of the day beyond entering the restaurant. A month after the incident, he and his wife returned to the hospital to say thanks to the staff who had saved his life. He commented: 

“I just can’t find the words to express my gratitude. The words haven’t even been invented yet. If you’re going to have a medical emergency, this is the place to do it! I just want to credit everyone involved and thank them so much for persevering.”

Hospital Director Jane Abbott said: “We’re delighted that Jerry made a good recovery and was able to return to visit us and meet many of the people involved in his immediate care.

“At Benenden Hospital we don’t regularly deal with medical emergencies, but our workforce is very well trained, does scenario training to hone their skills and prepare them for the unexpected, and we have all the necessary equipment readily available should we need it. They worked so well as a team and used their knowledge and skills to save Jerry’s life. Every single person involved on the day was amazing and I’m so proud of all of them.”

Published on 25 May 2023