GPH Real Stories - Col & Fay

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December 05, 2019

col and fay web2

Both in their early 70’s, Fay & Col were coping relatively well throughout 2018 until Fay was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes after a sudden loss of weight. Neither were prepared for what was about to unfold in the months that followed...
Being admitted to hospital four times in five months is not the way Fay had planned on starting 2019. Nonetheless, she was hospitalised with; complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), contracting an unknown virus, (which doctors at first were unsure how to treat), severe pain in her back (diagnosed as fractures to the spine caused by Osteoporosis) and Pneumonia.
During her final hospital stay she also contracted golden staph infection. To make life even more difficult, it was necessary for her to be placed on permanent home oxygen 24 hours a day to assist her breathing.
On returning home, Fay again suffered a setback, contracting another viral infection and was placed on a course of intravenous anti-biotics administered daily by the pain management team from Milton Hospital. The course was to
last fourteen days and was not only designed to keep her out of hospital but to prevent her contracting any further infections. She was also visited by the Palliative Care Pain Management team from David Berry Hospital, who provided
ongoing advice on managing pain and the administration of morphine as required.
Continually plagued by these viral infections and severe pain problems, together with the loss of weight, she was feeling fatigued and unable to carry out normal daily household domestic chores like shopping, cooking, & general
housework. Furthermore, it restricted her social life to almost zero.

With Colin now fully in charge of the domestics, despite suffering from COPD himself, as well as peripheral neuropathy and diabetes, they were battling on until he developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands. The extreme pain and numbness meant he was unable to cook or prepare meals - or even shower himself properly. They were now in dire straits and in need of some urgent assistance. Both could see their lifestyles as they knew them, crumbling before their very eyes in the space of a few short months.
Karin, from Grand Pacific Health’s Connecting Care Team, visited the couple in their home and made the decision to contact ‘My Aged Care’ on their behalf. A home assessment was then carried out by Audrey from the Aged
Care Assessment Team (ACAT), who made recommendations that a priority home care package be put in place for both of them as soon as possible. In the interim, Audrey contacted Meals on Wheels and also arranged for Baptist Care to assist Col with his showering.
“Our heartfelt thanks go out to Karin and Audrey, who without their help, care and understanding we would have sunk even further into the depths of despair,” said Col.
“Special thanks also to Nick from Shoalhaven Hospital Respiratory Coordinated Care Program for his help and advice to Fay on the best way to manage her oxygen intake at home and to the staff at Shoalhaven Hospital, the Palliative Care Pain Management Unit David Berry Hospital and Milton Hospital,” added Col.

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