Specialist community physio part-funded by Corsham family

Posted: July 31, 2014

Fundraising family make a difference in loved one's memory

People suffering from motor neurone disease in Wiltshire can now benefit from the support of a specialist nurse thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Corsham family.

The family of MND sufferer Martin O' Shea, who died from the disease in 2013, raised more than £21,000 through a massive fundraising drive.

Thanks to their efforts Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now able to provide a Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist to be based in the county for a year.

The rest of the money required to fund the post was put forward by the North Wiltshire Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Alison Aviss, chair of the Wiltshire Group of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: "Before Martin died, he told me that he wanted any money raised in his name to make a real difference to people living with motor neurone disease. I know that having this new nurse working in Wiltshire will make a real difference."

People suffering from MND, and other neurological conditions, will often experience respiratory issues due to the muscles around their diaphragm deteriorating.

Alison continues: "It is hoped that this role will improve this situation by regular monitoring at home and predicting those who will need intervention and assistance before they become critically ill."

In the months before and after his death, Martin's friends and family took part in a number of fundraising events to raise enough money to leave him a lasting legacy within the Wiltshire community.

Amanda O' Shea, Martin's widow, said: "It's brilliant that the money raised will be able to help local people who are going through what Martin went through.

"I know that he would be so proud that all of this has happened in his name. Before he died he often spoke of how much he wanted to help others with MND."

The new Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist Anita Sinclair took up the post last month and is based at Devizes NHS Treatment Centre.

She said: "I want to make every effort to make sure this role supports people in need because I know how much time and energy has gone into raising money for it."

About MND

Motor neurone disease is a rare condition that affects around two in every 100,000 people each year in the UK.

There are about 5,000 people living with the condition in the UK at any one time.

Currently there is no cure for MND and life expectancy for about half of those with the condition is three to four years from the start of symptoms.

Visit www.mndassociation.org for more information.

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