Hi, I’m Allexia. I joined CAWC last year, after visiting their fabulous annual Christmas Bazaar at the Crowne Plaza in Gerrards Cross. Since then, I have attended many events and activities, and now also volunteer myself, facilitating Lunch Club.
I felt very much drawn to the club, as not only do they have a huge range of fun activities, but their chosen charity – MND Breathing Support Project – is a cause very close to my heart. To understand what they do here is my story.
When my husband was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, his lung function was so low he was put on a ventilator within days. That was his life support.
Such a horrendously shocking visual realisation, and physical barrier between him and the rest of the world, he fought it all the way. There was concern he wouldn’t live much longer or survive a cold without it.
Visits to the specialist MND team at John Radcliffe and ancillary services such as Physio kept him going, teaching him breathing exercises, how to cough effectively, and gradually encouraging him to try the ventilator. Starting off with just a few minutes a day, it forced the air so hard into his lungs he couldn’t bear it but he persevered. It was hard going, but they supported him, encouraging him all the way.
Then he developed a cough. On testing, his Oxygen was low enough for intensive care. He was falling into a coma. It was Boxing Day. He was admitted to hospital where he was diagnosed with Pneumonia. They didn’t expect him to last 24 hours and they asked me to bring the kids in to say goodbye. I did.
But it wasn’t goodbye with the support of the staff, and breathing specialists, he eventually cleared his cough and was out of the woods and he gained enough strength to leave hospital with his ventilator, and managed to see another birthday with the kids.
And that is what a Breathing Support Project can do.