Getting mobile again
“I wanted to be a nurse from a very young age. I’ve always been a very caring person so nursing seemed the obvious profession for me.”
Sandra qualified as a registered Nurse in 1988 and spent over 25 years delivering and managing health and social care services in her local community. She noticed pain in her hips and knees from a young age which turned out to be osteoarthritis, but Sandra managed to persevere with her nursing career.
Eventually though, her symptoms got worse and her mobility became significantly limited meaning she was unable to continue nursing.
“I was so disappointed to have to stop nursing, but I was in so much pain that I physically couldn’t do the job.”
Sandra was diagnosed with cervical myelopathy, a narrowing of the spinal canal, and she had an operation to relieve cervical spine compression. Despite this, her symptoms have left her in constant pain with muscle spasms and nerve damage has meant she suffers a loss of balance. Consequently Sandra was forced to use a wheelchair to get around.
“I was using a manual wheelchair but my arms were weak from my condition and I found it really difficult to push myself along. What I really needed was some power.”
She contacted the Mobility Trust who carried out a full assessment and concluded that Sandra needed a powered wheelchair to help her retain her independence. Due to her nursing background, they also approached Cavell Nurses’ Trust who were able to award £1000 towards a powered wheelchair which Sandra received in January 2016.
“The chair has made a huge difference to my life and my ability to manage my conditions and care for my children. The personal contact I had with the Welfare Team at Cavell Nurses’ Trust was amazing and I’m so relieved to know that they are there in case I need them in future.”
Sandra is hoping to return to paid work eventually but in the meantime is keeping herself very busy. She’s a committed and active member of her community and passionate about using her skills and experience to help others. She’s involved in numerous committees and patient groups and is currently training to become a broker in social care, helping others to find their way through the often complex disability support systems.
Her new powered wheelchair not only gives her independence but acts as an “enabler”.
“It allows me to use the energy that I do have in a better way. I’m absolutely determined to be a useful member of society and a good mum and the wheelchair has given me the independence to do that.”
Sometimes it's difficult to ask for help but if you need help, or know a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant who does, please get in touch.