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Jerry's Story

Jerry, a heart failure patient, explained “I didn’t think the Hospice would be able to help someone like me. I don’t have cancer but I have so many other things wrong with me and was really struggling to breathe. When I met Isabel Heart Nurse Specialist, May, at my hospital heart clinic, she told me she could help. When I heard that, I was pleased but I was also really concerned. I thought, am I really that ill, because a hospice is for people that are dying.

With less than 10% function in my heart, and with numerous other health issues, my legs had swollen and were just enormous with water retention. It was so uncomfortable and distressing for everyone.

I attended a few of the Living Well with Isabel heart Fatigue and Breathlessness sessions. I learned some really useful techniques for controlling my fear when I was breathless. That was so useful and it meant I can help myself when I get in a panic. I’ve learned that just sitting in a different way helps me breathe better.

The way the Hospice is helping me, is that they are caring for me as a whole person. They seem to understand everything I need help with. The hospital visits were getting so frequent, and I was seeing 10-12 consultants at one point, one for my diabetes, one for my heart, one for my kidneys. Isabel do everything at once – holistically and work closely with my GP and district nursing team.

When my legs were at their worst May suggested I might want to have a stay at the In-Patient Unit so they could help me. It took two nurses, two hours at a time to unbandage and re-dress my legs. The difference they made was simply incredible. Look at them now… I’ve the best legs around!

Without Isabel Hospice in my life, things would be very different. I wouldn’t be alive today and the support they give me and my wife Jenny is amazing. Without Isabel I’d constantly be in the hospital, my legs would be swollen and weeping. We feel fully supported and have phoned the Hospice 24 hour advice line when we needed help with advice on my medication. Without that, and the other help from the Hospice, my wife Jenny reckons she’d be in the looney bin!