My name is Diana, and I am new to MS-UK! I have recently joined as Head of Services, and this is my first blog, so I hope you enjoy it…
This week I went to the Headway Suffolk Neuro Conference to hear some outstanding speakers including Professor Stephen Hawking. Despite initial reports that he would not make it due to ill health he made a great effort to attend the event to the delight of everyone there. There was a real sense of anticipation as we heard that the Professor was in the building.
Professor Stephen Hawking takes the stage
This man is a true inspiration, at the age of 75 (on Monday 10 October) he is still working full time whilst living with motor neurone disease. Professor Hawking spoke of his journey from initial testing to diagnosis and the challenges that he has had to face since. He continues to defy medics and despite being told in 1962 that he would not survive two years he considers himself lucky and concentrates on the things he can do rather than things he can’t. He feels lucky to have had his three children and considers them to be his greatest achievement. What a great sense of humour he has too!
To see for yourself what he had to say visit the Headway Suffolk website. His next ambition is to travel in space with Richard Branson’s project.
Professor Trevor Powell, a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, spoke about post traumatic brain regrowth which was really interesting and something I hadn’t heard of before. Understanding how brain trauma effects individuals differently and how people react and cope with this in different ways and how some can draw strength from it.
Dr Chowdhury from Ipswich Hospital spoke of developments in the world of stroke and the passion and commitment to enable patients to get all possible treatments. He clearly explained the importance of early referral to specialist stroke units to get the best possible outcomes.
It was good to hear about the work that Headway Suffolk do too – particularly the Brainy Dogs – and their desire to fundraise for a housing project in order to respond to the needs of their service users.
It was a great day out that was attended by over 700 people, that certainly caused the staff at BT Adasatral Park a logistical nightmare with parking, security and catering and caused tailbacks on the A14. The opportunity to see Professor Hawking – quite possibly the most intelligent man on the planet – certainly drew the crowds!
It was a great event, and one I really enjoyed attending,
Head of Services
In September I visited the Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre in Great Blakenham where they held their open day to celebrate the purchase of their new building.
Currently they operate out of a porta cabin but are moving into a large warehouse with two floors which will give them more room for two oxygen units, and the upstairs they have room to convert one area into three therapy rooms and the other into an office.
It was also very enlightening for me personally to see how the oxygen units work and the benefits this has on the lives of people affected by MS. I spoke with many of their clients who said they felt energised after coming out of the chamber and were able to be very active for the rest of the day without feeling tired.
Many people visited for the day and there was a good atmosphere with a tombola and raffle.
MS-UK had a stand which was situated in the main area next to the two large tables full of homemade cakes and jam…yummy!
It was a busy day with lots of enquiries about Josephs Court and lots of people took leaflets about our work.
Centre Manager, Josephs Court