Published by Cleo Canning on
Meet Alistair, he receives Live-in Care from Helping Hands led by the Clinical Team. His experience with his live-in carer Josef has made such a difference to living with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM).
Following his diagnosis, Alistair was admitted to hospital and spent over seven years battling with this illness and undergoing extensive amounts of treatment and procedures. He has experienced multiple chest infections, and regularly has seizures which need to be treated with medication. Alistair has had a tracheostomy fitted to assist him with his breathing, however this has triggered three cardiac arrests and have caused damage to his brain.
Nevertheless, the agonizing seven-years in hospital waiting to return home was worth it. After a complicated discharge from hospital, Melanie our Head of Clinical Care and Julie one of our fantastic Clinical Nurses, met with the family in March. The team at Helping Hands biased with multiple health care professionals and supported the family to find the perfect live-in carer for Alistair.
Prior to Alistair being diagnosed with ADEM, he led a very fit life and worked on the farm where he grew up. He had led an active and busy social life with his friends. For Alistair, it was important for him to go home and be supported, kept safe and still be able to continue to do the things that he enjoys. Being an avid Beatles fan, loves watching films and always finds the time to watch his favourite show, Family Guy. Keeping this quality of life was important to Alistair, and his family were keen to give him all the support they could in order to provide this.
“Jozef has so much experience, that he was less nervous than me,”says Julie May Clinical Nurse and part of the Clinical Team at Helping Hands, who helped arrange Alistair’s care.
“Not only did he have the right technical skills and expertise, but he has the most perfect approach to Alistair, really taking the time to understand him. They have such a strong relationship; they will go from strength to strength.”
As Alistair cannot verbally communicate, Josef created a version of sign language which was developed from his memories and life experiences.
For Alistair’s parents, David and Frieda, they felt they have gained another son with Josef. After hearing the news that Alistair potentially wouldn’t have survived his illness, they were beyond relieved that after seven years, their loving, gentle giant would be able to come home.
Maintaining interactions with his family and friends was an important factor for Alistair and his well-being. With his life changing dramatically since he previously lived at home, his family are realistic and understand they need to take it one day at a time.
“His face lit up when he saw his favourite apple tree and heard the combine harvester working in the fields,” says Julie. “His face was a picture and definitely told a story!”
Here at Helping Hands, we are incredibly proud of being able to support Alistair and his family. We are also delighted with the Clinical team for being the solution that has enabled Alistair to return home after seven years.
Julie finally added,“I have never felt so proud and had a little tear in my eye. I am really looking forward to seeing Alistair start living his life again.”
Contact us today to find out more information about our Clinical Care Services.