On the 13th December we had our 2nd child, Aaron. One week later Nancy, 38, had a massive brain haemorrhage caused by high blood pressure and was given a less than 10% chance of survival. In the space of one week, and at a time that was supposed to be one of life’s happiest, our life had been ripped apart with no apparent hope. My family flew out from Ireland for what we thought was to be a funeral. Nancy had different plans.
After two weeks in ICU and simply not knowing if she would survive, the focus turned to rehabilitation. First thing was to learn the most basic functions we take for granted – learn to swallow and go to the toilet. 2 weeks later all tubes had been removed and the process of physio, OT, speech therapy, etc truly began.
This is when I started looking at the options for the best facility for Nancy, based on the cover we had. While the staff at the public hospital were fantastic, they simply could not match the intensity of what could be offered through Royal Rehab Private.It was not a decision we made lightly to move Nancy, as having already been in 4 different wards and medical teams in as many weeks, she was hesitant to move again.
Within an hour of being at Royal Rehab Private I knew we made the right decision to move. Nancy had to be hoisted into bed prior to coming to Royal Rehab, and immediately they got her to stand up out of bed with no hoist. Then I knew we were at the right place for Nancy.
This is a first class facility with first class staff. They have state of the art equipment and everyone you meet, from when you get up in the morning to going to bed at night, is helping with your therapy – from the doctors, therapists, down to the tea lady encouraging you to speak. The combination of one on one therapy with the group sessions means you get a wide variety of treatment continuously throughout the day. As a carer my involvement was encouraged and I was delighted I could be with Nancy every step of the way and celebrate the successes.
Nancy’s therapy was tailored for her: a young mother of two children, a two year old and a one month old, where the main goal was to be a mother to her kids. The kids were used throughout the therapy session and helped with the bonding process. To walk and talk were our broad goals. Each of the therapists here work as a team and beyond their core skill. Nancy’s physio provided as much emotional support as physical therapy while Nancy was here. The ‘one team’ approach was excellent putting the patient at the centre of all decisions.
The therapy here was very intense and pushed Nancy hard. I describe it as a ‘good struggle’ pushed hard enough, but not to the point where it felt like constant failing.
The realisation for Nancy of what had happened really started in Royal Rehab. This was a very emotional time for her and the family however, the staff were excellent in how they encouraged her to keep fighting and push through.
Two months later Nancy walked out of Royal Rehab Private, with only the aid of a crutch and significantly more confident in herself as a person and the value she can add to the world, and most importantly her family.
This was only the start of Nancy’s therapy however, it was crucial to her future success by giving her a great foundation to build from. Nancy now walks without any aid in the house and is able to hold small conversations. This is very much a journey that will continue for many years. Royal Rehab Private set us on the right path for us to start our journey.
In a time of what seemed desperate, it is crucial to maintain hope and determination.Hard work and belief is what will get you there in the end.Times can and will be tough but you need to focus on the positives and what you can do and not what you can’t do.As a carer the 2 words I have said over and over to myself and my wife are – Stay Strong.
Nancy & Simon.