Physiotherapy prevents amputation: Eileen’s journey to independence

Patient story Patient experiences 19th Jun 2024

96-year-old Eileen faced significant mobility challenges following a diagnosis of a basal cell carcinoma on her right cheek and a left lower limb arterial ulcer. With her condition being palliative and under specialised care, her mobility had declined, impacting her independence and quality of life.

Eileen was referred to HomeLink Healthcare in September 2023 by the hospital’s Early Supported Discharge (ESD) team for physiotherapy. The primary goal was to enhance her stability during step transfers to a commode or chair with the assistance of two people or using a Sara Steady, and to aid her in regaining her mobility with a walking frame. At the time, Eileen could only manage short distances with assistance.

During her initial assessment, Eileen was able to demonstrate a step transfer from her wheelchair to a recliner using her wheeled Zimmer frame with minimal assistance. This initial progress was encouraging, showing potential for further improvement. She also managed to mobilise short distances in her living room using a walking frame with one person assisting her.

Determined to regain her independence, Eileen diligently followed the exercise plan provided by the HomeLink Healthcare physiotherapists. Over the course of her visits in September and October, she showed remarkable progress. Her range of motion, particularly in her shoulders, improved significantly. Her strength increased, and most importantly, her confidence grew.

Eileen’s next of kin expressed a desire to see her mobilise to the commode independently, a goal that became increasingly achievable as she continued her exercises. By the end of her physiotherapy sessions, Eileen was not only completing her exercises daily, but also moving independently around her home.

In a heartfelt message to the HomeLink team, Eileen’s niece shared the tremendous impact of the physiotherapy support her aunt received. She added:

“I just wanted to say thank you for sending the physios back in September/October for my aunty, it’s just done her so much good. We have continued the recommended exercises, probably missed about two days in the last 6-7 months, she’s done really well!

The result of the physio is that she is now no longer needing district nurses for her ulcers and that’s because we have managed to get circulation back into her legs, one of which they wanted to amputate. Thank you to everyone that had a hand in that and please continue it. This is a very important service!”

“You did everything exceptionally and allowed me to leave hospital six weeks earlier than planned because of the service you provided.

THANK YOU!!”

Patient feedback

“I am so grateful to have been referred to HomeLink Healthcare, they have really helped me get back on my feet. If I had stayed in the hospital I would not have achieved everything I have done”

Patient feedback

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and let you know that the work you do makes a true difference to people’s lives and wellbeing.”

Dr Vassiliki Bravis Consultant, Imperial College London

“Exceptional, amazing service with highly qualified staff. I felt confident at all times that staff knew how to deal with my picc line and my four times-a-day antibiotics was made easier by such lovely caring and compassionate staff”

Patient feedback

“The visiting therapist took her time with me, was always providing encouragement and without that I wouldn’t be at the point I am today.”

Patient feedback

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