Hospice’s game changing equipment and team helps to get Wrexham woman walking again

A state-of-the-art piece of kit is changing the way physios at Nightingale House rehabilitates its’ patients.

Thanks to monies donated by the Toyota Foundation and other donations from supporters it’s been possible to purchase a ceiling hoist system installed in the hospice’s brand-new gym and rehabilitation centre.

Jeanne Williams was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago and after eleven sessions of chemotherapy, improvement in her condition and being treated at home by a team of district nurses, the mother of one from Pentre Broughton realised her health was beginning to deteriorate again.

She began to experience a loss of feeling in her legs and after suffering several falls, she ended up with two spells in hospital during lockdown and was unable to walk.

Following assessments by clinicians from the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Nightingale House Jeanne was admitted as an in-patient to the hospice in the summer.

Nightingale House’s physiotherapist Helen Fisher was convinced the new hoist in the hospice could get her patient mobile again.

“When Helen came to see me in hospital, she believed she had just the piece of equipment to help me,” Jeanne said.

“Within two and a half weeks I was able to get up with their help and it was wonderful to feel that I was making positive progress after being immobile for so long.

“Using the walking hoist was a bit strange at first but it gave me the confidence and strength to stand up and walk alone after so many falls. What Nightingale House has given me to get back on my feet has been a game-changer for me and my family.”

Physiotherapist Helen Fisher said: “We are one of the first places in the UK that have this piece of kit and it is already making such a difference to patients and their families. To see Jeanne getting stronger each time she used the equipment is very satisfying.

“When she came to stay in the hospice the aim was always to give her more mobility and enhance her quality of life to get her strong enough to go home.”

Jeanne added: “I still go to physiotherapy once a week and I am very grateful to the hospice team who have worked so hard to help me whilst I was an in-patient and make my wishes come true to get me home to my husband Dave and my son Liam in time for Christmas.”

Christian Clay, senior product advisor for manufacturer Guldmann, said the Trainer Module is one of the first to be installed across the UK.

He said: “After a chance meeting with Helen late last year, it has been a real privilege to work with the physiotherapy team at Nightingale House Hospice and help them become one of the first facilities in Europe to experience the benefits of the unique Guldmann Trainer Module system.”

In an industry first, the innovative Trainer Module system incorporates dynamic de-weighting technology into a ceiling hoist system, allowing therapists to safely engage weaker patients in supported movements previously thought not to be possible.

Christian added: “The Trainer Module really does improve patient outcomes through creating more time to care. To hear the success Jeanne has had with the Trainer, enabling her to enjoy Christmas at home with her family is fantastic.”