Being diagnosed with a progressive long term medical condition is devastating and means your life is likely to change beyond recognition. In these circumstances, how can you ensure you maintain your health and quality of life for as long as possible?
This was the theme of a letter we’ve just sent to Leuchie House’s supporters in which we shared the story of one of our regular guests, Bob.
Bob worked as a sales manager for many years, travelling to America, Australia and across Europe, before a career change took him into the civil service. Aged 61, he was looking forward to retirement when life took an unexpected turn.
His first indication something was wrong was that he kept tripping over paving stones. Medical checks diagnosed almost immediately that he had secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
As Bob’s health deteriorated, he lost mobility in his arms and legs and was eventually forced to retire. Tragically he lost his wife to a brain tumour over the same period, leaving him living alone and dependent on care workers to help with virtually all aspects of his life.
Yet seven years on from his diagnosis, Bob’s positivity and zest for life continue to shine through and his focus is still very much on trying to maintain his health for as long as he can.
For Bob, this is where Leuchie House comes in. He comes for a Leuchie break four times a year and on each visit we are able to do a comprehensive assessment of his needs. We are then able to support him to get the care and specialised equipment he needs at home to keep him healthy and enjoying his quality of life.
The letter in which we shared Bob’s story was an appeal to our supporters to consider making a monthly donation to Leuchie. We need the security of ongoing and long-term support to guarantee we can keep caring for people like Bob.
The response to the letter has already been strong. This is probably because we can all identify with Bob’s story and approach, and hope that if we were to need it, Leuchie would be there to help us too.
Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 21 July 2017.