Legionnaires’ gran reveals her delight at family reunion

Anne Bennett: Pleased to see her family again

Anne Bennett: Pleased to see her family again

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A GRANDMOTHER who survived after being struck down by the deadly legionnaires’ bug has told of her joy at being 
reunited with her family.

Anne Bennett, 60, was moved from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s intensive care unit to an ordinary ward earlier this week after completing a course of medication.

The grandmother-of-two fell ill last month and was airlifted more than 300 miles to Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital, where she was kept in an induced coma by specialists to boost her chances of survival after suffering multiple organ failure.

Mrs Bennett, who is still being fed by drip, said she was overjoyed to be with family members.

Speaking from her hospital bed, she told the News: “I am so happy to have everyone beside me now and the nurses here have been so nice.

“I can’t really talk about surviving this yet as I still don’t quite realise all that has 
happened.”

Mrs Bennett’s daughter, Leanne Rae, 35, said she felt relieved after nearly giving up hope of ever seeing her mother again.

She said: “It’s great having everybody back together. I must admit I gave up too quickly. I thought ‘this is it, we are going to lose her’.

“My daughter, Ellie, was the only one who was saying ‘she will be able to fight this’.

“It’s so great to have mum back and hopefully she just keeps getting better. It’s good to have her out of intensive care – being in an ordinary ward will really help her progress.

“My dad, Frank, is a lot better, too. All he ever wanted was to have her back but I think he’s still in a daze about what’s happened.”

She added: “It’s the first time mum has ever been in a hospital and I think she’s finding it hard. It’s taken an awful lot out of her.”

Mrs Bennett’s ten-year-old granddaughter, Ellie, said: “You can tell by the look on her face that she is really happy to see us.

“I feel really relieved now that she’s sitting up and awake. I was petrified before because I did not know if she was going to survive – she was that bad.”

Ms Rae said her family was still angry that Mrs Bennett did not receive vital public health information on the symptoms of legionnaires’ disease and added that she expected answers on the source of the outbreak and how a recurrence would be prevented.

She said: “She was just walking along the road. Now you can’t even walk along your own street without worrying that you are going to catch something like that.

“My thoughts are still, ‘is there a chance she could come home and get back to her normal life but could still relapse?’

“I would like to know where it came from and I want to find out who’s responsible – and not just us but everybody else. I would like to see a public inquiry.

“But I don’t think we’ll ever find out. I think the people responsible for this will manage to cover it up.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com