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Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity

Who We’ve Helped

Jo Walton

Manchester Royal Infirmary

Support for Jo Walton during her stay in hospital

When fifty-four-year-old Jo’s flu-like symptoms turned into a rare immune condition, she was shocked. After being urgently transferred into hospital, Jo found herself critically ill in an unfamiliar environment. Distressed and frightened, Jo found comfort and safety in the expert staff team at Manchester Royal Infirmary who went above and beyond for her during the entirety of her hospital stay.

In December of 2022, Jo began to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms. Suffering from blocked sinuses and general aches and pains, she put her symptoms down to a seasonal flu and decided to wait the illness out.

Jo began to grow more concerned when her symptoms didn’t improve. She lost over 20kg in weight over a few weeks, her eyes were swollen and bloodshot and she was in pain all over her body. After two trips to the GP and several unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics, Jo returned to the GP for a third time hoping that she’d get some answers.

On this visit her blood pressure was taken. Her doctor, concerned about her heart rate, advised her to visit her local A&E at Stepping Hill Hospital. Jo was taken for numerous tests and scans that revealed various inflammations in her body. The doctors could see that she had an infection but couldn’t see where it was. What they did know, however, was that her kidneys were deteriorating rapidly.

Jo was transferred to Manchester Royal Infirmary in January 2023. It was there that she was diagnosed with GPA vasculitis, a rare condition in which the immune system attacks itself. The vasculitis had caused a clot to break off from her aorta and travel to her kidney. She was incredibly lucky that it didn’t travel to her heart or brain.

This was Jo’s first time staying in hospital. She was apprehensive about the experience and was frightened when she was first admitted to Ward 7 at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

“It was 2am in the morning when I was transferred to Ward 7. I was crying so hard because I was so frightened, but a lovely doctor held my hand and told me that I was going to be okay. They sat with me while I called my best friend.”

“When I was admitted to the ward, I thought that I was going to die- I felt so poorly and the other patients were so seriously ill. But the staff put me at ease when they explained that I had been diagnosed with this rare condition but that it was treatable.”

Despite the initial apprehension Jo felt, she soon felt safe and at ease with the staff team on Ward 7.

“Ward 7 was an amazing place to be. It’s not just the medication, but the tender loving care they give you that makes it. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

“When you’ve never been to hospital before, you realise how much every doctor has to push for every scan you get. You don’t appreciate how hard they all work. No one gets out on time, they all go above and beyond, they’re just incredible.”

Our Charity works across our hospitals, including Manchester Royal Infirmary, to help our expert staff provide the highest quality of treatment to our patients. It is essential that every single patient receives impeccable care, and we are proud to make that happen for patients like Jo.

Since leaving hospital, Jo has been doing much better. She receives ongoing treatment at CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) service where she is treated with infusions and drips to fight infections and suppress her immune system.

Jo still has a weakness in her kidneys as a result of her illness and blood clot, and she remains under the care of the Renal team to make sure they don’t deteriorate. She attends the Withington Community Hospital to see her consultants and to have blood tests on a regular basis.

Jo remains eternally grateful for the treatment she received at the hands of an expert team.

“It was an overwhelming, truly humbling experience. I am so lucky and blessed to have a second chance at life, but I wouldn’t have it without Manchester Royal Infirmary.”

“I’m so lucky and blessed to have a second chance at life, but I wouldn’t have it without Manchester Royal Infirmary.”

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