Four years ago Robert was given the devastating news that he has Motor Neurone Disease.
“I first knew something was wrong when I was doing the gardening. All of a sudden I couldn’t grip the secateurs when I was pruning the roses, and I was struggling to lift my arms up. It was very strange because I had never been ill in 40 or 50 years, and had been a keen footballer and cricketer. It was such a shock when tests revealed it was Motor Neurone Disease.”
Robert, who is 82 and lives in Wistaston in Crewe, first attended our Day Hospice in March 2017 to help him to understand his condition and how it progresses. He and his wife have benefitted from psychological and emotional support and advice on how to deal with his symptoms as his condition changes. MND is a life-limiting, progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. (Please visit www.mndassociation.org for further information or call the mndconnect helpline on 0808 802 6262.)
Recently Robert has once again started visiting Day Hospice for further support as his condition progresses. He said: “I have been so impressed by so many aspects of St Luke’s – the professionalism of the people, and the quality of the consultation and advice. All of the staff and volunteers are so friendly and happy to stop and chat, and laugh and joke.”
Robert, who has now lost the use of his arms, is able to talk to a nurse in Day Hospice every week to raise any concerns he may have and discuss the challenges his illness presents to him. He and his wife Margaret are given the opportunity and time to talk openly and plan his care needs for the future with staff.
Robert added: “They have been so helpful in giving advice to my wife as a carer, helping us both to adapt to the increasing challenges my illness brings and what we can do if we get into difficulty. They know that one of the pleasures of my handicapped life is to get out into countryside and go out in the car for a drive, so St Luke’s has matched me with a Befriender who has similar interests.
“It has been very comforting and rewarding, and very comforting socially as well. Coming to St Luke’s also gives my wife a day to herself, which is so important.”