Giving back to the RUH – Martin’s Story

Posted: 08th June 2023

President of Chelwood Bridge Rotary Club, Martin Palmer has chosen to support RUHX after he was cared for at the Royal United Hospital (Bath) following his cancer diagnosis in 2018. The club have been busy organising fundraising events and are working tirelessly ensure their local communities around Chew Valley benefit from extra extraordinary care at the hospital.

In late 2016 Martin had indications of a health concern. In December 2017, after returning from his holiday he realised he needed to make an appointment with his GP and priorities his symptoms rather than find another excuse not to go.

‘’After being given a whole series of tests these culminated in me undergoing a Colonoscopy, where a tumour was found in my colon. A biopsy was taken, and I had to wait to be given the results. This period was very worrying for me. At the age of 76, I faced the fact that there was such a thing as mortality, probably for the first time.’’

“An RUH surgeon, told me the biopsy they had taken earlier was indeed cancerous. He advised that I needed an operation to remove the tumour and until that had been done, a precise prognosis of my life chances could not be given. I mentioned that I had private health insurance. However, the surgeon advised it would need to take place within the NHS as soon as possible.”

‘’I understood for the first time how precious the NHS was in my moment of personal despair and that private health, while good for joint and bone replacements, will never replace it.’’

‘’My wife and I were processing what seemed like terrible news and we realised that our feelings were also being felt by thousands of others with cancer every year. Death, for the first time became a real possibility within a finite period.”

“Within an hour, my phone rang, and an RUH nurse asked if I was available for a pre-med next week.”

“The night before the planned operation, the Surgeon doing my procedure wanted to talk to me and reassure me of the process, rather than leave it until I faced him in his ‘greens’ in the operating theatre. He talked me through every aspect in a very reassuring way, He heard my wife prompting me to ask questions and he asked if he could speak to her. He assured her that he personally would ring her on her mobile once the operation was complete. I was stunned by this level of care and commitment.”

“I have now been advised by my excellent Oncologist, that my latest CT scan shows no sign of my Cancer returning after 5 years.”

“I was looked after so well by the dedicated RUH nursing staff and exceptional surgeon saved my life and that is why I have selected RUHX as my nominated charity during my Presidential year at Chelwood Bridge Rotary.”

Chelwood Bridge Rotary Club have been supporting RUHX since the start of 2023 and have been organising several extraordinary events to help raise funds to bring Robotic Surgery to the hospital. The DaVinci Robot will assist up to 400 surgeries a year, much like Martin’s.