A former police officer turned wildlife artist who had a brush with death has donated a painting to the team who saved his life.
Robbie Graham, from Hythe, was rushed to the William Harvey Hospital after suffering a heart attack and needed emergency surgery to clear a blockage in his artery.
He was so impressed by the treatment and his experience that he commissioned a wipe-clean, acrylic print of one of his paintings, which is now on display in the cardiac catheter suite at the hospital where he was treated.
Robbie said: “It as gold-standard treatment from start to finish, and thanks to the fantastic team here I have been given a new chapter in my life.
“Everyone treated me like a member of their family; from the coffee lady to the doctors and nurses.
“There was such an atmosphere of calm professionalism that I felt instantly reassured and that I was in good hands.”
The painting depicts an owl coming in to land and is called ‘Silent Landing’.
Robbie, who worked for Kent Police for 22 years, said: “The painting is quiet and peaceful and controlled and I felt it was very appropriate for this team because it reminds me of the care I received.
“I hope it will provide some reassurance for other patients and their families, who may be apprehensive or anxious when they arrive.
“The staff were truly wonderful and the experience has cured me of my fear of hospitals and I am grateful to be given a new chance at life.”
Robbie’s wife Sue is a trauma and orthopaedic practitioner, and has worked at the Trust for 19 years at the William Harvey Hospital and the new Elective Orthopaedic Centre in Canterbury.
She said: “This experience has taught us truly what it is like to be on the receiving end of emergency intervention medicine and although it has provoked a radical lifestyle change for Robbie it has reaffirmed what we have always thought: the NHS is at its very best in a crisis situation.
“We were both dealt with professionally and with compassion at all times.”
The couple presented the painting to Trust chief executive Susan Acott and staff from the cardiac team.
Susan said: “This is a really special gift for us and we are very grateful to Robbie for choosing to acknowledge his experience in such a profound and unique way.
“It is always wonderful to hear people’s positive experiences with our services and I hope Robbie can now look forward to many more years of creating beautiful pieces of art like the one he has donated to us.”
See more of Robbie’s art at https://www.robbiegrahamart.com/