Your support makes a difference| Paul's story

Friday, October 6, 2017
Tuckwell Chase Lottery Paul Stubbs

To help support more people like Paul please continue to play the Tuckwell Chase Lottery.

 

Paul was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in January 2006. MND is a degenerative disease that affects he stem cells of the motor neurones leading to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. Paul’s symptoms started in November 2005, when he started suffering regularly from cramps in his right thumb.

 

Paul says, “As a former professional footballer, I was used to cramps in my legs, but not in my thumb!”

 

After his retirement from professional football, Paul continued spending his time running his window cleaning business that he set up aged 19.

 

After several months of pain Paul went to see his GP who referred him to a Consultant at Frimley Park Hospital then on to St Peter’s in Chertsey where he had more tests. Paul had to wait for several weeks to see what the prognosis was

 

“After the diagnosis, my wife was very upset but not surprised as she had been researching my symptoms on the internet and her fears had become a reality. I was very scared and upset. I have 4 daughters and my first grandchild was on the way. I didn’t know what MND was or what having it meant for me, the Consultant said, I had 2 years left to live”.

 

At this stage Paul’s symptoms were slight “I was having really strange muscle cramps and spasms on my arms which I had no control over. It looked like aliens under my skin making it move”.

 

After the diagnosis, Paul informed his local GP. Paul’s GP suggested he come to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. “At first my thoughts were I was not dying, so why so I need to come here?  After my first visit I realized that the hospice is a place that can add more life to my days and help me manage my symptoms as they inevitably get worse”

 

Initially, Paul was able to continue working every day but in 2009, he stopped working full time as the pain in both his arms prevented him from carrying out the practical side of his job.

 

Paul has received support from the Physiotherapists, Complementary Therapists and Occupational Therapists who have offered him a holistic approach to the care he needs.

 

Paul says “The great thing about coming to the Hospice is being able to talk to others who are suffering from MND and how the disease affects them, as it’s very different for each person. The Physiotherapy has helped me manage how much movement I can do without getting tired, the Occupational Therapists have helped me adapt my home to suit my illness and the Complementary Therapies especially the Reflexology really help soothe my pain.”

 

For Paul MND has had the greatest impact on the use of his arms and also swallowing food can be problematic.

 

Throughout Paul’s journey he has tried to remain upbeat. The support of his family and friends has really helped him along the way too. Paul’s family have also been incredibly supportive of the Hospice by organising various fundraising activities.

 

With the support from the Hospice, his wife of 36 years Judith and his 4 daughters keeping him on his toes, he is looking forward to living the remainder of his life to its fullest.

 

When asked what does the Hospice mean to Paul he said, “I would like people to know that it costs a lot of money to run the Hospice, but without donations and support from people it wouldn’t be here. For me and my family it has made a huge difference and without it, my illness would have got the better of me.”

 

To help support more people like Paul please continue to play the Tuckwell Chase Lottery.