"the care I have received from the physio assistant at home"

About: Edgware Community Hospital / Neurological Rehabilitation Centre

(as the patient),

I would like to write and describe the outstanding care I have received from the physio assistant, Anita, who has been working with me for several weeks at home. She was sent from the Neuro Rehab unit at Edgeware hospital, following a visit to assess my current needs from the community physio who gave me a plan of exercises to help me get walking again. I suffered a relapse of MS back in 2017 that left me unable to stand or walk and I have received in patient and community support from the team there over the past 18 months. They provided me with a frame at home that has transformed my life. It has made possible the hope that I can really get walking again. This was unimaginable for many months of lying on the sofa unable to move.

Anita began working with about 6 weeks ago and during that time she has taught me to walk outside the house and inside using two sticks. At every stage she places safety at the heart of everything we do together and because of this I have been encouraged to push myself and reach for new goals. She came with me to the hairdresser to assess whether I could get in and out by myself using sticks. She assessed and then we practised together till I felt safe and confident. So after two very long years I can now go to the hairdresser totally independently and it feels magnificent. This week using my sticks and scooter I went to the dentist for the first time on my own and came home singing with delight. I wanted to stop strangers in the street to tell them my achievement. 

As soon as I have reached my goal, Anita sets new challenges, new goals. So we work together on me walking better with more balance and better posture. She has an incredible range of skills and knowledge to adapt equipment to meet my needs so we can practise exercises to strengthen muscles that have been totally unused for months. She has opened up a beautiful world for me, when I felt lonely and isolated for so long. Now I can jump into my car with my sticks and go to restaurants to meet friends and family. She is the kindest, most encouraging, positive person I have ever met and she has inspired me to believe in myself, when that is exactly what I had lost, not only the use of my legs. We meet twice a week and at the end of the session I am proud of what I have achieved, I am inspired to safely try for more of a life. There arent words to express my gratitude for all she has given me. Yesterday she brought me a perch stool so I can safely stand to cook in the kitchen. Each time she comes I feel empowered to achieve more.This is a truly exceptional person who has given me back freedom and independence

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Response from Laura Williams, Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist, Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Dear RD

It is a pleasure to read your story, and I hope many other people will read your story and gain inspiration and hope from your experience.

We will ensure that this story is shared with Anita, in regard to how beneficial and life affirming you have found her input.

We are so pleased to hear what a positive impact this input has had on your day to day life, and how this has enabled you to access your local community once again.

Wishing you all the very best for future.

Kindest regards

Laura Williams on behalf of the NRC team.

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