My sister slipped away peacefully from us on December 15after spending almost eleven months in a "suspended" state where she could neither eat by mouth, move unaided, or speak except for the odd word now and then.

After suffering a major head trauma following a fall in January, she was miraculously discovered in her house, by a local tradesman.

What followed can only be described as a tragic ordeal alleviated because of the devotion of nursing staff, doctors and support staff at Southampton General (Neurology), Salisbury District Hospital (Farley) and Glenside Neuro Rehab Centre (Bourne).

The NHS was outstanding every step of the way but, despite their efforts, no real progress was possible.

Disillusionment, frustration and anger are often associated with our health system but I am pleased to speak in praise of some wonderful people doing an outstanding job.

On behalf of family and friends who supported Sheila during this terrible year, "thank you."