A Queen Elizabeth Hospital porter, who wanted to thank an Addenbrooke’s consultant on national television for saving his life after a stroke, suddenly found himself at the centre of an emotional surprise.
Because although the BBC One Show told James Mattless, from King’s Lynn, they were still trying to locate Cambridge-based Dr Yogish Joshi - they suddenly reunited the pair half way through a “pre-recording about his operation”.
Not only did ‘One Big Thank You’ presenter Sarah Greene invite Dr Joshi on to the set from a side room – but an additional three others from the 50 strong team who cared for James followed too.
Overwhelmed James gave Dr Joshi an impromptu bear hug, and thanked fellow interventional neurioradiologist, Dr Thais Minett, who with Dr Joshi’s help removed the clot from James’ brain, reducing the chances of death or permanent injury.
Also brought in from behind the scenes at Cambridge’s historic Anstey Hall Hotel at Trumpington were consultant neurologist, Dr Smriti Agarwal, and specialist stroke nurse, Sarah Finlay.
Moments before James described how he’d always wanted to thank Dr Joshi, but hadn’t been sure who he was, or how to locate him. He said:
Dr Joshi saved me from a life of disability - I could have even died - so I can never say ‘thank you’ enough for what he did for me. I just want to shake his hand and say thank you – that would just be amazing.James Mattless
The reunion was broadcast on the One Show (opens in a new tab) last night.
James, 31, had his stroke at home when he was just 27 and was taken to the QEH by ambulance. Dr Raj Shekhar, Consultant Stoke Medicine, and his team determined he needed a specialist treatment called a mechanical thrombectomy, which only a small group of patients are eligible for. The treatment is administered from a handful of highly specialised stroke unit’s, with Addenbrooke’s being the closest.
James returned to The QEH 72 hours later and spent a further 10 days on West Raynham ward where he received ongoing treatment and rehabilitation by a specialist stroke team.
After a three-year recovery, rebuilding his speech and mobility through the Stroke Association and The QEH Stroke Unit, he is now dedicated to raising awareness of stroke in young people.
Dr Joshi told James, who once recovered was able to continue his job, said:
I can’t tell you how much it means. Hearing your success story helps us to redouble our efforts to treat as many people as we can.Dr Yogish Joshi
He added that he hoped the ‘One Big Thank You’ would serve as a high profile reminder to anyone suffering any kind of stroke symptoms to seek help, as speed is of the essence.