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A Queen Elizabeth Hospital porter who wanted to thank a hospital consultant on national television for saving his life after a stroke suddenly found himself at the centre of an emotional surprise.James Mattless was told by the BBC’s The One Show that they were still trying to locate doctor Yogish Joshi from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.However, the pair were suddenly reunited halfway through a “pre-recording about his operation.”
The reunion was broadcast on the One Show last night.Not only did ‘One Big Thank You’ presenter Sarah Greene invite Dr Joshi on to the set from a side room – but an additional three others from the 50-strong team who cared for James followed too.An overwhelmed James gave Dr Joshi an impromptu hug and thanked fellow interventional neuroradiologist Dr Thais Minett, who with Dr Joshi’s help removed the clot from James’ brain, reducing the chances of death or permanent injury.
The heart-warming movement took place at Cambridge’s historic Anstey Hall Hotel where Dr Smriti Agarwal and specialist stroke nurse Sarah Finlay were bought in from behind the scenes.Moments before James described how he’d always wanted to thank Dr Joshi, but hadn’t been sure who he was, or how to locate him.He said: “Dr Joshi saved me from a life of disability, I could have even died, so I can never say ‘thank you’ enough for what he did for me.
“I just want to shake his hand and say thank you – that would just be amazing.”James, 31, had his stroke at home when he was just 27 and was taken to the QEH by ambulance.Dr Raj Shekhar, consultant of stroke medicine, and his team determined he needed a specialist treatment called a mechanical thrombectomy, which only a small group of patients are eligible for.
The treatment is administered from a handful of highly specialised stroke units, with Addenbrooke’s being the closest.James returned to The QEH 72 hours later and spent a further 10 days on West Raynham ward where he received ongoing treatment and rehabilitation by a specialist stroke team.After a three-year recovery, rebuilding his speech and mobility through the Stroke Association and The QEH Stroke Unit, he is now dedicated to raising awareness of strokes in young people.Dr Joshi told James, who once recovered was able to continue his job: “I can’t tell you how much it means. Hearing your success story helps us redouble our efforts to treat as many people as possible.”He added that he hoped the ‘One Big Thank You’ would serve as a high-profile reminder to anyone suffering any kind of stroke symptoms to seek help, as speed is of the essence.