Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers Memorable patients

Up close and personal

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 08 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:92

I recently had the opportunity to observe the progress of two middle aged women admitted to hospital after a stroke. I occupied the bed between them. Both had similar levels of impairment and had been in hospital for several months, and plans for their discharge were progressing.

Mary could easily have graced the “memorable patient” column. She was intelligent, articulate, despite severe dysarthria, was positive, willing to give anything a go, and had a wicked, infectious sense of humour. She was popular. Ruth on the other hand was quiet, and somewhat introverted, complained a lot, and …

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