Care UK patient urges other men in pain to seek help

When successful businessman and devoted dad Ian Hooper injured himself caring for his daughter he tried to ignore the pain and avoid surgery. But now he’s encouraging other men to stop being brave and to get the help they need.

St Mary's NHS Treatment Centre - Success Story - Ian HooperIan was carrying his 12-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy, to the car when he heard a pop. He said:

I knew something had gone seriously wrong but, like most men, I decided to ignore it. When the pain got worse I just told myself it would go away.

Ian runs a business that employs 20 people in Fareham, Hampshire supplying specialist cleaning equipment for a wide range of clients including schools, factories and hospitals. He said as the pain got worse he became unable to help his team move deliveries to the company’s warehouse in Portsmouth.

He was also worried that the pain was beginning to affect his ability to cope with the more physically demanding aspects of caring for his daughter.

I decided I had to go and see my GP. He said he thought it was a hernia but would need confirmation from the hospital. I was not looking forward to that as, like most people, I don’t like visiting hospitals.

Ian chose to be treated at St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre.

I was surprised from the moment I walked in. Everyone was very cheery and professional. The consultant saw me and immediately confirmed the diagnosis of a hernia. He said it would need an operation and I was pleased to find out I only had a month to wait from the initial consultation to the operation itself.

Ian had the operation as day surgery, arriving at 7.30am and leaving later in the afternoon.

Everyone was very kind. The surgeon and anaesthetist both put me at my ease and my nurse, who happened to be male, was very helpful and understanding.

Given my professional interest I can also say I took a good look at the hospital’s hygiene and I was very pleased to see nothing that gave me the slightest cause for concern.

The operation was a complete success and Ian is moving towards a full recovery.

There was some discomfort for a while after the surgery but I feel as if I am on my way back to being the old me.

I would encourage anyone, especially men who have a medical concern, not to do what I did and take the ‘tough it out, it will be alright’ line. We all have people that depend on us and need us to be well.

There are great medical teams out there, like the ones at St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre, who’ll put you back on your feet with the minimum of fuss and the maximum care. Don’t be brave, be sensible.

Penny Daniels, hospital director at St. Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre, said:

I’m delighted to hear Ian’s story. Men in my family, and even some of the medical professionals I’ve worked with over the years, have shared his initial instinct not to make a fuss and to tough it out but swift, caring and professional attention will have them back on their feet and fighting fit in no time.

Hernia surgery is one of a range of treatments available at St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre. If your GP agrees that you need treatment you can ask them to refer you to the hospital for treatment – it is part of your choice as an NHS patient.