Because of you...

We were there for Beccy and Tony

Mum-of-three Beccy Marks was diagnosed with MS in 2016. Since then, her condition has deteriorated and she is now paralysed from the neck down. With help from Prospect Hospice she is still able to live at home, assisted by carers and her family, including husband Tony who she describes as “my hero”.

People with long-term conditions like MS can understandably feel worried about their future. Beccy’s respiratory and throat muscles are very weak, which means she can’t cough spontaneously and is at high risk of developing chest infections. Her voice is also quite weak and tires easily. She was referred to Prospect Hospice in February 2021 and staff have helped her in several ways.

The hospice’s specialist neurorespiratory physiotherapist Dorinda Moffatt has helped increase Beccy’s respiratory muscle strength, so that her voice is stronger. This is important not just for now, but for the future. With specialist help Becky is now recording a set list of phrases, while she can still do so, so that, in the future, if she needs to communicate through a computer-generated voice, that voice will sound very much like her natural voice.

Dorinda also works on managing Beccy’s symptoms, which can include choking. She taught family members and eight carers how to safely use a device with Becky that increases her lung volume and helps clear chest secretions, and is now sourcing equipment that will enable her to cough, so clearing her airways.

“Having problems like choking on my own secretions and being unable to cough spontaneously can be very scary,” said Beccy.

“But everyone at Prospect Hospice has been incredibly supportive and sensitive. Tony and I really feel we are listened to, and if they say they are going to do something, they do it. The team helps with my medications and making my pain more bearable, and they are regularly in touch with us to see if there’s anything else we need.

“They are able to take the time to listen, and then come up with ways of meeting my needs and making that happen.

“In my position, everything can feel very dark, but with Prospect Hospice – the way they talk to you, treat you, and do anything to help you – well, whenever I see them, it’s bright again.”

Because of you, we’re there for Beccy and Tony. Without you, we won’t be there for many others like them. To find out more about supporting the hospice, and others like them, click here.