The recovery made by Davinia Douglass following the 7/7 bombings 5 years ago (featured here in the Mail) is a testament to both her tenacity and plastic surgery. The appalling revelation however comes in her story of not having had any psychological support from the NHS. The Consultant who treated her said:
‘We’re not magicians, but we do what we can to get the best possible outcome for patients. Some people’s burns heal better than others. But even people who have almost no scarring at all can be very traumatised by the incident that cause the injury, and their families can be traumatised. The mental healing process can be incapacitating for some individuals, who withdraw from day-to-day society.’
Davinia is now campaigning for a dedicated psychologist to be attached to the burns unit at the hospital. Plato was on the same track when he said, “The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated”. Davinia was lucky – not just because she survived and was healed – but because she had the strength of character to overcome the trauma. As the Consultant intimated, it could have been a very different story both physically and mentally, but not to provide mental health services at all after such an experience is a huge mistake. We are a poorer society in every way when we fail to treat body and mind together.