When Scunthorpe United FC fan 65-year old Eddie Atter went to watch his team play away to Bristol Rovers in February 2018, his life changed forever.
I really can’t thank the Lindsey Lodge team enough for all they’ve done to give me a new lease of life.
"Following the match, while I was waiting for my son Paul to fetch the car, I suffered a cardiac arrest and my heart stopped for a terrifying 17 minutes”, he said.
"Miraculously for me, four off-duty nurses in the ground immediately came to my aid and began administering CPR. The next thing I knew was when I woke up in Bristol Royal Infirmary three days later.”
After three weeks in hospital and an operation to improve his heart function, Eddie was finally allowed home.
"I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which means simple tasks like putting on my coat can be exhausting for me. I’ve also had serious problems with breathlessness, which began to really panic me, so my Cardiac Nurse suggested I be referred to Lindsey Lodge Hospice."
Eddie thought that hospices were only for palliative patients and he was worried about visiting, but he benefitted greatly from its Wellbeing Services.
"We were told there was little that could be done to help me with medication, so we genuinely believed I might not be around to see Christmas 2018."
Hospice staff suggested ways that they could help Eddie and his family.
"When I went for my first appointment... Janette and I met Consultant in Palliative Medicine Dr Lucy Adcock, she introduced us to Wellbeing Manager and Occupational Therapist Sarah Hodge, who discussed the kind of practical help they could offer.
"She spent just 20 minutes going through some relaxation techniques, which had a dramatic effect on me. First, I attended the Lindsey Lodge Fatigue Clinic, where we explored my daily routines and how fatigue impacts on my life. Sarah helped me develop different energy conservation strategies to help cope with my fatigue during my everyday activities."
At the Hospice’s Breathlessness Clinic, clinical experts taught Eddie breathing techniques, which allowed him to feel more in control.
"Therapies Clinical Specialist Sally Brownsell, taught me techniques of how to control my breathing and not to panic when I become breathless."
After spending time with the hospice’s staff Eddie and his family feel, they have the tools to feel confident to help him at home if he starts showing signs of becoming unwell.
"This support from Lindsey Lodge has literally been life-changing. Instead of being worried about the future, I can now look forward with hope. I still have good and bad days, but I understand my condition better.
"In November 2018, nine months after last visiting Bristol, Paul and I made the journey back for Scunthorpe United’s away match. We went onto the pitch in front of more than 8,000 cheering football supporters, to publicly thank the nurses and all the staff who had saved my life just a few months before. I also got to thank them all in person, which was something I thought I’d never be well enough to do.”
“I really can’t thank the Lindsey Lodge team enough for all they’ve done to give me a new lease of life."
About Hospice Care Week
Hospice Care Week is a chance to join with hospices nationwide to celebrate the hard work, achievements and commitment of our hospice sector. At Hospice UK, we believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.