Marilyn was 66 years old when she burnt her arm after hot cooking fat was accidentally spilt over her. She developed an infection and was an inpatient at a specialist burns unit for four days. Marilyn said the support she received from the doctors and nurses was fantastic.

Marilyn was staying with family abroad when she was involved in a cooking accident and sustained burns to her arm when hot cooking fat was accidentally spilled over her. Immediately after the accident, Marilyn ran cool, running water over her arm and the burn was wrapped in wet towels and cling film. Her daughter then drove her to the local hospital.

At the hospital, Marilyn was assessed, and her burn was placed under cool, running water again for what she said felt like “hours and hours”. At the time, Marilyn was visiting family abroad. After telling the hospital staff that she was due to fly home tomorrow, they told her to go to local GP’s surgery “as soon as she got home” to have the burn dressings changed.

When Marilyn returned home from visiting her family, she contacted her local GP surgery to have her dressing changed. Unfortunately, Marilyn was told she would need to wait and phone back tomorrow due to staff absences, by which point the burn had already become infected. A few days later, Marilyn visited her local GP surgery again and was instructed to go to hospital because of the infection.

Marilyn spoke about her frustration at having to wait to be seen by a GP, and how if she had got an appointment quicker, her burn may not have become infected. She believes this was caused by staff shortages.

Marilyn was an inpatient at a specialist burns unit for 4 days. She was attached to an IV drip and was taking painkillers to help her manage the pain. She says the staff at the burns unit were “absolutely fantastic” and “utterly dedicated”. Marilyn said she became very dependent on the doctors and nurses because of how vulnerable she was, and that they made the hospital experience “the best that they could”.

Whilst recovering from her burn, Marilyn found it helpful to remain busy to help distract her from the pain and to stop her “feeling sorry” for herself. She says looking after her grandchildren helped her to keep busy.

After a delay in her burn being cleaned and redressed, Marilyn’s burn got infected, and her GP surgery sent her straight to hospital.

Age at interview 68

Marilyn felt “terrified” when she was discharged.

Age at interview 68

Although Marilyn found having her burns cleaned to be a “pain”, she told us that the doctors and nurses were “so gentle” and “caring” with her.

Age at interview 68

Marilyn was grateful that staff took the time to get to know her.

Age at interview 68

Marilyn went “back and forth” to hospital for dressing changes twice a week for three months, but found it was better than when she and her husband had tried to do these at home.

Age at interview 68

Marilyn’s daughter accidentally spilt hot fat over Marilyn’s arm whilst they were cooking together.

Age at interview 68