Quick thinking actions of physiotherapist leads to Star of the Month award

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Bella and her award

A UHSussex physiotherapist has been awarded Star of the Month for July after recognising symptoms of pre-eclampsia in a pregnant patient and facilitating emergency care.

Bella D’Almeida, Clinical Specialist and Service Lead for Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Team at Worthing, Southlands and St Richard’s hospitals, was nominated for the award following a letter from the patient who commended her quick thinking and excellent care.

Patient Charlotte Bainbridge was 30-weeks pregnant when she attended her physiotherapy appointment at Worthing Hospital, suffering with pelvic and back pain symptoms.

Bella noted all of Charlotte’s symptoms and after taking her blood pressure, which resulted in a very high reading, she recognised the severity of the situation.

She immediately transferred Charlotte to a wheelchair and took her to A&E where she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and needed to deliver her baby in less than one hour.  

Charlotte and baby Poppy now back at home

Baby Poppy was safely delivered by caesarean section and cared for at the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) for five weeks before coming home in June.

“Bella’s quick thinking and kind-hearted actions most likely saved my life and the life of my baby,” said Charlotte. “My husband and I will be forever grateful that she went above and beyond her role with recognising my symptoms of severe pre-eclampsia and getting me the urgent care that I needed.

“Thank you so much Bella, you are amazing.”

Bella received her award in a surprise presentation by Worthing Hospital’s director Jeannie Baumann and Chris Mercer, a Consultant Physiotherapist who nominated Bella.

“I can’t believe it, they didn’t tell me,” said Bella. “This is so nice. The patient wrote this nomination when her baby was only two days old, still on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). For her to be thinking of me is crazy, I’m a bit shocked actually.”

Chris said: “I nominated Bella for this award as I was so moved by the letter from her patient. The patient’s comments were heartfelt and she was clearly very grateful for the expert care she received.”