August 23, 2019

Patient, Shaun Carey, on his Northern Health journey

A fifty-nine year old Doreen resident, Shaun Carey, knows Northern Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) all too well, having been in the unit four times in the last twelve months.

Shaun was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014 after doctors found a tumour present. Shaun underwent surgery to have the tumour removed, followed by chemotherapy for six weeks.

Over the next twelve months, Shaun made regular visits and doctors discovered the tumour had grown back. Once again, the tumour was removed and he underwent another round of chemotherapy. This time, he was not so lucky – the chemotherapy didn’t work – and doctors found another aggressive tumour was present in his kidney tube.

In April 2018, Shaun underwent major surgery to remove his bladder, prostate and part of the kidney tube. After a 13-hour operation, he spent the next two days in ICU before being admitted to Ward 16 (previously known as Unit J).

Due to complications, he was rushed into surgery for a life-saving operation, which then lead him back to ICU, followed by five more weeks in Ward 16.

Every two weeks Shaun was back in hospital again for up to a week at a time. His kidney levels had dropped and was in acute kidney failure, resulting in another long operation and time spent in the wards.

Thankfully, today, he has a new bill of health and he was thrilled to return to Northern Hospital recently to say hi to the “amazing nurses and doctors” who took care of him along the way.

During his journey, he tells us he spent more months in hospital than at home.

“The nurses, as well as all my surgeons, were incredible each time I had to go back in. They treated me and my family like family, so going back was a lot easier knowing these people cared and were always there by my side.”

“Both myself and my wife can’t be any more thankful for all the care we have been given by the ICU and Unit J team – they’re the best and surely made our journey a lot easier,” he says.

Shaun is a dedicated member of the community, having been involved in the Whittlesea City Basketball Association for 27 years as a player, referee and a championship coach, and still is to this day.

We wish Shaun all the best in his recovery. Watch the videos below to hear from Shaun and ICU Director, Anthony Cross.