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Carers Opinion: Now there is the coronavirus. A bad time for us all.

I’m 75 and I care for my wife who is 71. She broke her neck in 1969 which left her paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. It was a traumatic time becoming an instant carer. She was in hospital for 9 months. We then had to get on with our lives the best we could. It was then much harder in those days for somebody in a wheelchair. There was no assessable access, no disabled toilets and lack of information . It is much better today.  We managed to live as happy and normal life as possible.

In 2005 my caring role became much more complicated. My wife had a perforated ulcer. During the operation to repair it, the surgeon came and told me that my wife’s left leg was going blue and it needed to be amputated urgently. I was warned it was dangerous having 2 operations so closely together. She was then in intensive care. I was told it could be palliative care, but she was strong, a fighter, and she recovered. She then went to a medical ward but then she got MRSA and again was in hospital for 6 months.  Now, she was both an amputee and paraplegic. 

During my caring life I have had three hernia operations (caused by lifting, pushing etc), and I have back pain (which a lot of carers suffer from) and high blood pressure. I have been taking tablets ever since. I had counselling which was a great help.  

Now there is the coronavirus. A bad time for us all. I worry a great deal about my wife getting ill. With all her problems I don’t know how she would manage in hospital as the facilities there are not as good as home. Also if I became ill who would look after her?   

Even though the hospitals, doctors, nurses, care homes and care staff are doing a fantastic job, which we all are most grateful for, I am however annoyed that the ‘family carer’ is not getting any mention. Without us looking after our loved ones the NHS would be under even more pressure.

Family carers are the forgotten army!    

I have to thank Carers UK/Wales and the Swansea Carers Centre. I have had a lot of help and support from them over the years, and I know the staff are all doing an enormous amount of work at the moment to help us.

I am a lucky carer.  My wife just gets on with things and makes my life easy to support her. I know there are a lot of carers with a much harder life and I send you all my best wishes and hope we beat the virus soon.

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