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Determined Patient Thanks Girvan Community Hospital Staff Following Car Crash

An NHS Ayrshire & Arran patient with a remarkable recovery story has paid tribute to the team at Girvan Community Hospital that helped with his rehabilitation.

Robert McIlraith, known as Rab, was told he would never walk again after suffering critical injuries in a road traffic collision in July 2018. The crash, in which he sadly lost his wife, occurred on the A77 south of Ballantrae. Rab was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, where he was treated for injuries including a broken spine, two punctured lungs and kidney damage. He was cared for by staff there for several months before being transferred to University Hospital Ayr and then Girvan Community Hospital in October last year.

The team on the Davidson Ward in the hospital took on the challenge of learning about new equipment and techniques to help Rab recover from his injuries and begin to rehabilitate. He has recently progressed from walking with elbow crutches to one stick, to the delight of everyone involved in his care.

Rab said: “When I heard I was being transferred to Girvan, I had concerns as I heard a lot of rumours about how the care I’d receive would not be good – my experience has been the opposite. I started to progress as soon as I came here. It was hard work for the physiotherapists but they managed to get me moving around and kept believing in me.

“I can only thank all the people at Girvan Community Hospital for the care and attention from every member of staff. When you come here, you’ll never walk alone.”

Charge Nurse Gill Lowrie said:

“In terms of nursing care and rehabilitation, there was a lot to learn but everyone rose to the challenge. This is a fantastic example of collaboration between specialist physiotherapists and nursing staff, with incredible results, and I want to pay tribute to the whole team.”

Elaine Anderson, Physiotherapy Team Lead said:

“As a patient, Rab is always willing to try anything that might have a positive impact on his recovery – he has achieved everything we have thrown at him and proved everyone wrong by walking with the elbow crutches. He knows absolutely everybody in this hospital and everyone has celebrated his success. A lot of the staff have been quite emotional at the amazing progress he has made – we are all just delighted with how far he has come.

“As Rab continues to improve in all aspects of his recovery, the next steps will be for him to be discharged from Girvan Community Hospital into a suitably adapted home, where he will live with his two daughters. The team is immensely proud of helping Rab get to this stage – he is a truly remarkable individual.”


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