“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.”
Arielle did not choose Professor Michael Seckl, as her Oncologist, he chose her. I don’t know exactly who, at the original hospital in Margate, decided to contact “Prof” (as he is affectionately known) but someone realized that her particular case was perhaps a bit tricky and decided that rather than “opening her up” and removing everything, they’d ask Prof for his opinion.
From what I heard, it was without any question or hesitation he said, “Get her to London, I’ll take her.” She was, within hours, in an ambulance and on her way to a hospital more than 80 miles away, to meet a man she had never heard of and in who’s hands we would all place our faith and trust.
The UK’s National Health Services (NHS) is nothing like I’ve ever seen. Here, when you get sick, you go to your GP. S/he will determine if you “require” a specialist. If you do you’re usually sent home to wait for a letter that tells you that you have an appointment with Dr XYZ on a particular day at a particular time. There is no discussion. There is no debate over Dr XYZ’s credentials, you just show up on that day, at that time.
So needless to say, Arielle could have ended up with pretty much anyone!
We are thrilled that she was lucky enough that Michael Seckl chose her. He is one of the most unassuming, personable, funny, compassionate people I have ever met. His bedside manner is outgoing and friendly and he makes you feel warm, safe and comfortable. He is (according to Google) a “better than good” Oncologist who has a highly regarded global reputation. …but when you meet him, you’d never know that.
What he and his “A-Team” do is nothing less than perform miracles.
Dr Openshaw (Doogie Howser, as I affectionately call him) appears to be Prof’s “right hand man.” He is young, confident, outgoing and his eyes sparkle when he smiles! Dr O also gives you the impression that you’re safe in his hands. Not at all “full of himself,” and never too busy to make time for you. Luckily he’s inherited some of Profs best traits!
Then there’s Sarah and Sinead. These two women are “Angels.” I think they’re “clinical nurses”who take care of the day to day, practical and emotional issues associated with having cancer. They come to the ward, sit on the side of the bed, ask the important and hard to ask questions and then they LISTEN. It’s a beautiful thing to watch them work. They approach scared, mostly young woman, and within minutes are able to get them to open up and talk openly about their fears, concerns, and symptoms. Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes tears, but when they’re done and leave the ward, the air feels lighter and the energy has taken on a more positive vibe!
There are others on the team who’s names unfortunately escape me at this moment, but they are also part of this incredible “team.” The people on this A-Team come to work every day and their primary goal is saving and prolonging lives.
How totally cool, right?