Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

West Suffolk: St Nicholas Hospice Care is ‘more than a building’

11:02 17 October 2012

Physiotherapist Angela Jiggins on a home visit to see Pat Messenger (pictured)

Physiotherapist Angela Jiggins on a home visit to see Pat Messenger (pictured)

Archant

Looking at the wider work of hospices, MARIAM GHAEMI met a woman who has been helped by the St Nicholas Hospice Care physiotherapy team both at the hospice centre in Bury St Edmunds and in her own home

shares

PAT Messenger does not fit the stereotypical image of a hospice patient.

The 72-year-old from Botesdale, near Diss, is not suffering from cancer and she is not living in a hospice.

Currently she is receiving physiotherapy through St Nicholas Hospice Care both at home and at the hospice centre in Bury St Edmunds to ease her pain and aid her sleep.

The grandmother-of-five spoke to the East Anglian Daily Times in aid of Hospice Care Week, which was last week and aims to dispel the myths around hospice services.

She suffers from the conditions Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma and arthritis which cause her pain and heavily restrict her mobility.

Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder of the immune system which reduces the amount of saliva and tears produced and scleroderma results in hard, thickened areas of skin and sometimes problems with internal organs and blood vessels.

Physiotherapist Angela Jiggins sees Mrs Messenger once a week, alternating between the hospice and the patient’s home, with treatment including acupuncture and massage.

Mrs Jiggins said: “The hospice is very good for pain management.

“People think people come to the hospice just for end of life, but people come in for one week/two weeks for symptom management which is pain control.”

Mrs Messenger’s pain and lack of mobility stops her and her husband Mike, 72, from enjoying everyday activities together, such as going to the supermarket, and it has been years since the couple went on holiday.

The physiotherapy Mrs Jiggins is administering is not a cure, but can help them achieve the best quality of life possible.

Speaking of Mrs Jiggins, Mrs Messenger said: “Couldn’t have had anyone better. She’s just wonderful.”

Mrs Messenger added: “It [the hospice] has been a wonderful help to us. I don’t think we could have coped without them really to be honest.

“They have given us such a lot of support, the doctors there and all the staff. We have got to know Angela fairly well as well. It’s marvellous they even come out to your home.”

Mrs Messenger has also stayed at the Bury hospice for four weeks following a hospital operation earlier this year which left her in a great deal of pain.

“It was like being in a five-star hotel. A jacuzzi bath every morning. Wonderful food,” she said.

She added: “Bury is such a happy hospice, it really is. As soon as you go in there the nurses go up and give you a hug.”

The hospice has also been a place where Mrs Messenger – who knits teddy bears and scarves to raise money for the hospice – has made new friends, the couple have enjoyed a spot of lunch and Mr Messenger has been able to enjoy a foot massage.

Mrs Jiggins, who has worked at the hospice for 18 months, said it was not a depressing job by “any stretch of the imagination”.

She said the most rewarding part was “probably trying to give people quality, as much quality as you can to what life they have got left. You just know you are giving them a little bit of control back to their life.”

Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care, said: “Hospice care is about so much more than our building in Bury St Edmunds.

“We support people in their own homes, in care homes, even on park benches if that’s where they feel most safe. We want to let people know that we are here to give help and advice to people and families right across west Suffolk and Thetford, to help them make the most of every day.”

shares

0 comments

The fire broke out in a kitchen of a ground floor flat High Street North, West Mersea at 8pm.

Firefighters tackled a flat blaze in north-east Essex on Thursday night.

Jonny Williams, pictured during his loan spell at Ipswich Town earlier this season

Ipswich Town have completed a sensational double swoop moments before the 5pm ‘emergency’ loan deadline – landing Jonny Williams and Zeki Fryers from Crystal Palace.

Network Rail engineers carried out essential track repairs in the tunnel near Ipswich train station. It started at 11pm and is expected to finish at 5am on Friday.

Rail services in Suffolk were delayed on Thursday night due to emergency engineering work.

The search and rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

Two illegal immigrants plunged to their deaths in north-east Essex after desperately jumping from a ship in an attempt to swim to shore after a failed attempt to smuggle themselves in to the UK, an inquest has heard.

A Hyundai i20, BMW 120 and another vehicle, unknown at this stage, were involved in the collision on the A14 eastbound at Beyton at 7.50pm, police said.

A three-vehicle crash on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds injured three motorists tonight.

Strikes in Byford Road, Sudbury was hit by ram raiders

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash down the door of a bowling alley in Sudbury last night, before the raiders stole money and a change machine from inside the building.

Roe deer feeding in oilseed rape field, Suffolk, by Kevin Sawford

An award-winning wildlife photographer will be giving an illustrated talk on his craft to a group of like-minded enthusiasts.

A bus and a woman have collided in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds.

A young woman has been taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a bus in Bury St Edmunds.

A 27-year-old woman was jogging in Grove Road when a cyclist grabbed her buttock as he cycled past at around 6.30pm on Tuesday,  March 10.

Police are linking three sexual assault incidents in Felixstowe, it was announced today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages