Previously Published Book
This moving true story is an example of the power of self-belief, support, persistence and courage; gives insight into the interior of a public hospital and the emotions of two people experiencing an extended stay there; provides advocacy for health care improvement across all sectors; and is a love story.
Roy is suddenly hospitalised with 'diffuse septic rheumatoid arthritis? and his wife Christine leaves home to be with him for what becomes a terrifying eight months experiencing intravenous drips, operations, transfusions, further infection invasions, intensive care, bullying by hospital staff and other insensitive behaviour. Amusing and heart-warming incidents also occur. A battle ensues about Roy's discharge, but despite reluctance of medical experts he goes home weighing under fifty kilos, needing a mechanical lifter, a wheelchair and daily help from Homecare Service.
Determined to achieve self-mobility, Roy and Christine embark on a tough ten month regime of daily exercise, guided by various therapists. The question of whether this goal will be possible grips the reader and, although the outcome might seem disappointing, it is an amazing achievement which offers encouragement to those who suddenly suffer unexpected disabilities, and their carers.
REVIEW Christine Perrott's book is compulsory reading for health professionals, health students and patients and their families. Christine's story chronicles the day to day challenges she and her husband Roy encountered, endured and overcame across the trajectory of serious illness, hospitalisation and rehabilitation. It tells of the authority that a wife has in knowing and tending to the needs of her seriously ill husband and the importance of connection to life, family and friends outside hospital walls. Roy's story tells of the frustration and disappointment of existing in a body that has become painfully unrealiable, but also the importance of trusting that it has the capacity to recover. More than this, this is a story of hope, courage, determination and dignity. It instructs health professionals in the importance of partnerships with patients and those who love and care for them. It behoves them to take the time to listen, to be mindful of the impact of their words and actions and to understand the power they have to either encourage or undermine inherent human healing forces. Equally it provides instruction to families to know their rightful place as partners in care, to be resolute and not to be put of by the remarks and behaviour of unthinking and at times uncaring health professionals.
Vicki Parker (RN, BA, MNursing, PhD) Professor of Rural Nursing. University of New England and Hunter New England Health Service.