After 18 months in a chair, it was time to stand

Formerly active Pat suffered with persistent leg pain that left her chairbound and very fed up. But once she started physiotherapy at Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital, not only did she reach her goal of standing up again, she can now even get up and down the stairs thanks to her physiotherapist Trudie.

Pat had been suffering with ulcers on her legs for a long time. The open wounds wouldn't heal and she was suffering unbearable pain, which was getting progressively worse.

Unfortunately, at first it was thought that nothing could be done except keeping the areas clean and changing dressings regularly.

At no point did anyone ask how this was affecting Pat’s life. Nobody knew that she was wheelchair bound from the pain, sleeping in a reclining chair, or that she hadn’t seen her bedroom for 18 months. She was managing to cook and clean, but her quality of life was at an all-time low.

As a previously active person, Pat became extremely frustrated and began to have very little interest in anything. She says she couldn’t have got through this time without her rock – partner Ian.

“I was concerned about Pat’s movement limitations from sitting in the chair for so long.”

Pat is lucky to have some wonderful family around her and her grandson wasn’t willing to accept this life for his gran. He made some enquiries about physiotherapy, but the NHS wasn't an option during the pandemic, so he contacted Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital.

Physiotherapist Trudie Jefferys had an initial call with Pat to review her situation and find out what she wanted to achieve from her sessions. Pat wanted to stand.

Trudie was honest with Pat: “I was unsure if I could help or to what extent, as I was concerned about Pat’s movement limitations from sitting in the chair for so long” but they agreed to a face-to-face session.

Trudie began with strengthening exercises in the chair and kept pushing Pat a little more each time. She also gave Pat exercises to complete at home between sessions and encouraged her to contact social services, who provided aids for around her home. 

“Pat is my biggest success story to date and I am so proud of her.”

It took a great deal of determination, but Pat consistently hit every target that Trudie set. Pat met her goal and stood up from her chair; it was a momentous day and a massive achievement, but Pat wanted more. With Trudie's help, she continued to push herself, began to walk with aids, and even overcame her biggest hurdle – stairs.

The pain has reduced to an ache and Pat’s quality of life has increased dramatically. Pat can now get up and down the stairs, sleep in her own bed and get out into the garden with her rollator frame. She's so much happier and enjoying being able to do her jobs without relying on others.

Both herself and her partner are so grateful to Trudie, but Pat’s hard work really paid off. Trudie said, “Pat is my biggest success story to date and I am so proud of her”.

Pat has achieved her goal of walking independently around her home and is now planning her ultimate goal of walking outside in her garden and with the perseverance she's shown so far, there's no doubt she'll succeed.

Last updated Monday 21 August 2023

First published on Thursday 9 December 2021