Co-operating to Improve Quality of Life

Wednesday, 01 September 2010
Following seven unsuccessful hip replacement operations, four on one leg and three on the other, Mrs Lilian Gordon had her right leg amputated. She also suffers from diabetes and has, since the amputation in June 2009, been almost totally dependent on her husband for twenty-four hour care.
     Since the amputation, Mrs Gordon has been confined to the lounge of the family home where she eats, washes and sleeps. There is a hospital bed within the lounge and at night her eighty-four year-old husband moves a camp bed into the lounge so that he can provide the twenty-four hour care that his wife needs.
     Mr Gordon also does all the cooking, cleaning and personal care for his wife. They do receive help from a series of carers who are very supportive and helpful, but the main burden still falls on her husband, who has a heart condition and has had a pacemaker fitted.
     Through his own efforts Mr Gordon has secured some funding from his local authority to assist with converting the downstairs of the family home to provide the facilities that Mrs Gordon needs, including a ceiling-mounted hoist. However, the funding fell significantly short of the overall cost and an application was made to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for assistance.
     In conjunction with a member of the RMBI care advice team and following a detailed occupational therapist assessment, a grant was approved to meet the shortfall in respect of the costs of adapting the home to meet the specific needs of Mrs Gordon and to provide an electric wheelchair.
     The wheelchair has been supplied and is being put to good use already. The building work is nearing completion and will enable Mrs Gordon to move freely about the ground floor of the house without assistance for the first time since before her amputation. The Masonic Samaritan Fund has been able to support the couple in conjunction with the RMBI and the local authority. Collectively, this support will provide a major improvement to the quality of life of a very grateful couple.

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