Linda back home thanks to portable lung suction unit

Posted on in Services

After spending nine weeks in a hospital bed, Linda Buckworth is delighted to have her freedom back – and it’s all thanks to a special portable device that helps inflate her collapsed lung.

Linda walking down hospital corridor with portable lung suction unit

The 37-year-old is excited to be heading home this week after becoming the first patient at The James Cook University Hospital – and one of the first in the country – to be discharged with a portable thoracic suction unit.

Linda, who lives in Boosbeck with her parents Sue and Freddie, has a complex chronic lung condition which caused her lung to collapse in January.

Despite the best medical efforts, the lung will no longer inflate on its own, so Linda is reliant on thoracic suction which has meant being confined to a hospital bed.

But when respiratory and general medicine consultant George Antunes and cardiothoracic surgeon Joel Dunning contacted Rocket Medical to discuss Linda’s case they soon came up with an innovative solution and within 24 hours the company had generously donated an extra portable device for Linda to take home.

Sue said: “This is going to be a life giver as well as a life saver for Linda, and really gives us our lives back as well.

“We have seen such a big difference that it has made to her. It’s going to be amazing.”

Dr Antunes said patients often use the portable devices to walk about on the ward but this is the first time a patient has been discharged home from James Cook with their own device.

“It means she can go home instead of being confined to a hospital bed,” he said. “The only reason she’s still in hospital is to have the suction and now she can receive this at home and visit the hospital for twice weekly check-ups.”

Linda said a big thank you to all the hospital staff – especially Dr Antunes, Sister Julia Wren and the team on Ward 9 – and that she was looking forward to being able to enjoy a day out in Whitby soon for fish and chips – and mushy peas of course!

Linda with parents and staff