Katie Philips

May 26, 2015 Katie Philips

Community Life Choices suppports couple with respite care

After being admitted to hospital with symptoms of a chest infection three years ago, 39-year-old Katie Philips, from Preston, had no idea that her life would take a dramatic turn in just a matter of weeks.

As a result of the chest infection, Katie suffered liver failure and in attempt to save her life, Katie was put in a coma at Royal Preston Hospital for four weeks in 2011.

During this time, the life support machine was almost switched off each week before Katie started to show signs of recovery and was allowed to be transported back home in October 2011.

With support from her husband, 59-year-old Curtis Philips, Katie managed to survive her ordeal but now suffers with toxic brain injury, which has drastically changed her everyday life.

Due to the nature of Katie’s condition she can no longer read, write or speak and requires the support of a wheelchair, which means she needs constant care within the home. Katie also suffers from epilepsy, struggles with coordination and balance and finds it difficult to interact with others.

With help and guidance from Community Life Choices (CLC), Curtis is now employed as Katie’s personal assistant (PA) so he is able to have full control of her medication and condition, 24-hours per day and seven days per week.

Commenting on the support received from CLC, Curtis, said: “In the early stages of Katie’s condition, I was trying to work 12 hours per day as a security guard to ensure we had enough money to pay the mortgage.

“During this time, I had to leave Katie with our previous care provider and social worker which was extremely stressful as I wanted to check on her to make sure she was OK and taking the correct doses of her medication.

“Meeting CLC made me realise that I could access funding to cover my wages and have the flexibility to become Katie’s PA on a full-time basis so I decided to leave my job in order to tend to her needs day and night.

“Juggling a full-time job and being Katie’s carer was too much for me as I struggled to get four hours sleep per night. But since discussing my options with CLC I am the sole carer for Katie and have the necessary respite support for eight hours per week, giving me time to do chores or spend time out and about in the community.

“Our previous care providers used to visit, see Katie for a short time and leave and the help we received just wasn’t enough. We have been supported by CLC for just over a year now and I already feel as though they have completely changed our lives for the better.

“Their team has the skills and knowledge to assist us with anything, no matter how big or small, and they have even helped us to access funding so we can install a lift and more suitable bathroom equipment in our home, making simple everyday tasks much easier for Katie.

“With Katie’s condition, it takes me 20 minutes to get her upstairs so having a lift will be a huge help as we spend the majority of our time in our home.

“CLC has also given us contacts so we can receive additional help, whilst they have also given me the confidence to liaise with the council and social services to ensure that we can make the best out of our life together and most importantly, enhance Katie’s quality of life.

“Twelve months ago our relationship was suffering as I found it incredibly difficult to be Katie’s carer as well as working long night shifts, but thanks to the fantastic team at CLC, Katie’s life has improved drastically and we both feel optimistic and positive about our future together.”

Community Life Choices offers advice and support to adults and children in need of personalised health and social care services. For more information contact info@communitylifechoices.co.uk or call 01772 804088.

©2015 Community Life Choices