Many people have found themselves looking after someone during lockdown for the first time in their lives. This is never a planned life event and would be hard even during ‘normal’ times. Catherine shares her experience.

“My husband is only 62 and when he had a heart attack in January, it was a big shock. The team at William Harvey Hospital were fantastic but he suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain which has left him with a lasting brain injury. He spent 5 months in hospital all together. After the William Harvey, he was transferred to the neuro -rehabilitation unit at Kent & Canterbury and then he tested positive for Coronavirus.

It’s been a really difficult time for me and my three young children, especially because we couldn’t visit him and see for ourselves how he was doing. When the Discharge Team at the hospital rang to say he was coming home that very day, I panicked. I wasn’t ready, the house wasn’t ready, and I hadn’t had time to prepare the children.

Thankfully, the Occupational Therapist and the Neuropsychologist who had been looking after my husband had put me in touch with Carers Support East Kent who have been fantastic.

They liaised together so my husband didn’t come home that day which gave me time to get things sorted both practically and mentally. When he did come home, Carers Support East Kent arranged for someone to stay with me at night for the first 9 days and people came morning and night to support me too. It was invaluable and has helped us all adjust to our new lives.

Before I knew about Carers Support East Kent, I felt very isolated and anxious, but now I know who to call if I am worried or have a question. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

He’s only been home for 2 weeks, but I feel more confident that I can cope, and they will help me with whatever the future brings. Thank you.”