Mr Fielden, Gas Safe, Health Through Warmth and Warm at Home, St Vincents HIA
Mr Fielden’s daughter wrote to St Vincents HIA to thank them for their help.
‘I really don’t know where to start and I have been pondering for a few weeks about writing this.
Up until my dad being poorly I hadn’t really heard of St Vincents (why I never know!! this name needs putting in the headlines). My dad was taken seriously ill with necrotizing fasciitis (a flesh eating disease which was quickly eating away at his eyes, nose and forehead and could possibly spread to his blood which would have killed him – caused by a small insect bite). We kept a bedside vigil at Blackburn Hospital until we could see he was getting a little better but knew he would probably never return back to the independent outgoing man he was. During this time my head was all over, I work full time yet had to stay off work as I tried to plan for what the future held. I had meetings with specialists, doctors, nurses and occupational therapists. He underwent 3 operations to try and stop this terrible disease spreading.
Since my mum died 4 years ago there has not been much up-keep on the house, every job which needed doing he did himself, without us knowing half of the time, this included inserting a pipe into his gas fire for the pilot light and seemingly his boiler had been leaking and he had taken all the front of it off and been tampering with the mechanisms. I told this to the occupational therapist and he was horrified.
The OT gave me St Vincent’s number to see if they could help. I arranged a meeting with Cynthia at my father’s house whilst he was still in hospital and I knew the minute I met her that this was a lady who would help if she could. She was so understanding and caring and I was gob-smacked at the way she talked and understood everything I was saying about him. My dad is a very proud man and has never asked for anything and that’s how I have been brought up, so to sit there with a lady I have never met before and to be offered some of the services St Vincents can help with was absolutely incredible.
Since then it has been amazing, within a few weeks (whilst my dad was still in hospital) he had a new fire and a new boiler. I told him when he was in hospital and his first words was “how much do I owe them?” he was over the moon that someone could be so kind and help so much. He came home from hospital and was shocked to see it all in and fitted and working (seemingly and unbeknown to us he had been showering in cold water). Bannister rails and other equipment was also fitted to help him get round the house.
As a family we cannot thank you enough for your help, we have never had any help from anyone before.’