“Everything fell apart seven or eight years ago. But I’m happy now. I’m very lucky.”
Bill spent over 38 years working all hours, just to keep our taps running.
When the water main breaks in the middle of the night, it’s good people like Bill who go and fix it. He was running a team of ten men, on call 24/7. It was hard work, being constantly on call. But Bill loved it. Happily married to Lorraine, he eventually retired. And with time to enjoy his retirement, he was in good shape, fit and well. Then one day, it all changed. Bill takes up the story.
Everything fell apart about 7 or 8 years ago.
“One day I noticed my foot was a bit swollen. I went to the doctor and he said ‘It’s just a fungus.’ When it got worse, and my toe started turning black, I went back and asked for x-rays. He said, ’No, just get out and do some walking’. So I did. But it kept getting worse. Finally, I went back and got the x-rays done, and he told me, ‘You’ve got Charcot Foot’.
It’s serious - it comes from nerve damage. And all the walking I had been doing had been doing more damage. Eventually, I got a blister on the ankle that became a large ulcer right up my leg. I could hardly walk by then. If we’d had the x-rays done in the first place, and a proper diagnosis, we could have dealt with it straight away.
Bill’s health soon deteriorated rapidly.
Bill developed further serious complications, including cardiac failure, respiratory illness and sleep apnoea, and he also lost an eye. Formerly healthy and strong, it was a sad decline. Knowing how much Bill and Lorraine wanted continue living at home, the family decided to bring in care support.
But as Bill’s daughter explains, things got worse. “I won’t mention names, but the care we got in was a total failure. The care workers kept changing all the time, and so did the care. We started one thing, then they’d stop that and change to something else. It was no good, Bill was confused and unhappy and did not want the help. Life was pretty miserable”.