June's Patient Story
"My journey began on 7 January 2019 with my first operation, which was a hysterectomy to resolve some heavy and constant bleeding which was eventually diagnosed as a large fibroid.
Within days of the operation, I noticed a large swelling to the left of my abdomen. This turned out to be a hernia which was operated on 10 months later in November 2019 in London.
As scared as I was at having to go through another op, I couldn’t wait to wear normal clothes again as this lump was now the size of a 6 month pregnancy.
After a very successful op, I was still left with a lump which I was prepared for, as explained to me by the surgeon, given the fact the hernia had been so large, there was a possibility I would be left with a seroma or haematoma.
The surgeon in London was following this up, but unfortunately Covid 19 hit which meant I couldn’t travel to the UK so I saw a local surgeon who decided I needed a third op for hygromic cyst, and this op took place in January 2021.
All seemed to go well, though there was still a swelling there, after 4 weeks I had a fourth op as I had developed an infection in my abdomen. A different surgeon removed 2 litres of fluid, plus a large amount of solid matter and flushed out the infection.
After the op, the surgeon came to see me and explained that my open wound was around 12cm wide and I would require something called Acti-vac therapy attached to my open wound in order to help remove the fluid collection and to regenerate new tissue which would be the best option for this large cavity left in my abdomen.
This was attached to me in hospital, and then it was explained that upon my return home, Family Nursing & Home Care would then take over and I would be using their Acti-Vac instead and I would be having home visits twice a week by to change my dressings.
Now the real part of my journey began, as I knew without this machine and follow up home visits, I would be back in the same position with the fluid build up and more ops in the future as this would be an ongoing problem if not resolved.
On a Monday morning, on February 22nd, my first visit and swap over to Family Nursing’s very own machine took place and I was the first person to have this shiny, new Acti-vac recently acquired by Family Nursing & Home Care!
Those lovely ladies put me straight at ease and then got to work, applying new dressings and sorting me out all with a smile. They sat and explained what was ahead with visits regarding the machine and dressings and gave me telephone numbers to call anytime if any problems or I was worried at all.
The first few weeks were a challenge with the machine alarming and me having no idea but the ladies at Family Nursing were fantastic and nothing was too much trouble. Eventually I got used to the machine and its habits and was able to sort myself at times as best I could but the ladies were always on hand should I have any further issues or a bit unsure, they always came out when I needed them.
Over the weeks which went into months, I got to know the ladies very well and built up a lovely rapport, it was hard not to as they have always been so cheerful and having banter with me. I even looked forward to seeing them as I was at home 24/7 only seeing the inside of my apartment in the first weeks so they became my living angels with the miracle machine, and that’s how I described them to my friends and family.
I eventually had about 14 weeks of home visits and I feel extremely lucky to have got to the point I am at now, able to do clinic visits but those weeks were to have become the most important of my life and I feel very humbled to have been one of the lucky ones to have had this service. If someone had told me a few yers ago that I would have required Family Nursing in the Community at my relatively young age of 53/54, I would never have believed it as I always believed it was for elderly in the community but I now realise how easily a situation like mine can happen to anyone at anytime and how important the home visits really are.
Not only has this service gave me my life back, the lovely ladies such as Gilly, Anne, Michelle and Ali became a big part of my life those past months, always keeping my spirits up with their humour and chats about their lives and even the lovely students who came in and who have all become a part of my story.
Its been a very emotional time throughout and I don’t mind saying I have cried so much, sometimes with frustration at having this happen to me but mostly with sheer happiness and joy at just how lucky I really am, I feel so blessed and it has given me a new perspective on life and further gratefulness to what Family Nursing in Jersey means to me and how important it is for anyone on this island. I sing their praises to everyone I meet.
My journey has been a long one but without Jersey Family Nursing, it would have been a much longer one.
I honestly don’t know where I would be without them, I’m so humbled in every way and grateful to this service.
Thank you to you all, you will never truly know what a difference you are making to people’s lives and what joy you bring.
Really there are no words but there are so many more words I could write and still not be able to do enough justice for this service which is more than a service, its a lifeline to many people, young and old alike.
The key word is in the name, Family, they help so many families and they become like a family to the people who need them.
Heartfelt thanks from one of your humble but happy family members......