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Margaret and Graham discover the transformative power of St Luke’s

Margaret Brammer admits that she wasn’t keen to attend sessions with our Patient and Family Support Services…and neither was husband Graham.

But now the Halfway couple are regular visitors to our Ecclesall Road South site – and both say they have been transformed by the experience!

Margaret, who has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, admits that the condition had undermined her confidence.

“I didn’t want to go outside because I was a bit embarrassed and I didn’t like anybody to see me using my inhaler and things like that so I was getting myself in a bit of a state,” she says.

That’s when both her GP and her occupational therapist suggested she might enjoy some of the facilities offered by the St Luke’s PAFS team at Ecclesall Road South.

It’s an opportunity for patients to access physio and occupational therapy, wellbeing and creative therapies, social work and chaplaincy as well as enjoying relaxation and wellbeing techniques, tips on nutrition, routine and sleep as well as a full range of fun activities.

“You hear the name St Luke’s and for people in my age group the first thought is that it’s about cancer and it’s a place where you go to die but I quickly discovered it isn’t what you think it’s going to,” Margaret says.

For over a year now, Margaret has been making twice-weekly visits to St Luke’s, taking part in everything from chair aerobics to the popular quiz sessions.

“I came for the first session thinking how could I say I didn’t like it if I hadn’t even given it a go and by the time the session was over I loved it,” she says.

“I don’t really know what I expected but I didn’t expect everybody to be so amazing.”

Husband Graham assumed he would be driving Margaret to her sessions and then simply waiting to pick her up again – but he too has found the atmosphere at Ecclesall Road South hard to resist.

“I found myself somewhere quiet to sit for a couple of hours but then I started to say hello to people and I realised how friendly everybody was,” he says.

“It is lovely for me to see Margaret enjoying herself and it’s completely changed me – I’m normally not a very social person but now I talk to everybody, I’ll help people if I see them struggling and I’ve even done the quiz when the regular quiz master isn’t available.

“As soon as the door opens you get a 100 per cent welcome and every person here is unbelievable.”

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