A BARNSLEY woman who says she owes her life to the skills of a neurosurgeon and the hospital care she received before and after a brain operation has urged the public to not forget how vital the NHS is.

As the coronavirus crisis continues to stretch the service, Denise Dixon, from Wombwell, is well on the road to recovery after the removal of a tumour in September.

“I consider myself very lucky,” said the 74-year-old-grandmother, who lives with husband John, 76, on Everill Gate Lane.

“The way I was looked after was fantastic, and I know those unfortunate enough to have been in hospital with coronavirus throughout the country will also have had the same level of care.”

Denise, who until retirement worked with John as a nightwear and underwear trader at markets throughout South Yorkshire, had shown no signs of illness until she was rushed to Barnsley Hospital after suffering a seizure.

“I was pretty much out for the count, and barely remember a thing about that day, but I know that after having a scan, I was transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital at Sheffield,” she added.

“My surgeon, Saurabh Sinha, removed a tumour, which thankfully proved to be benign, and I am convinced he saved my life.

“All the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff were all angels, so kind and caring.

“At times, I thought they were talking to someone at the side of me, it was all so unreal, but their compassion and patience was amazing.”

Denise, who has two sons John, 47, and Paul, 46, and a grandson Sam, 16, added: “I’m just trying to say what a marvellous NHS we have got. It’s an institution second to none.

“I thank my lucky stars every single day, and I feel so humble and so blessed to have come out of this terrible nightmare alive and kicking.

“I feel so sorry for all those who have died from coronavirus, and all the families involved have my deepest sympathies.

“But I know from my experience that the doctors and nurses will have tried their utmost for their patients. They will have cared for every single one of them.

“We are so lucky in this country to have the NHS.”