Amanda lives in Leigh-on-Sea with her husband and son. A fully qualified nursery nurse, Amanda had previously worked in the French Alps and local organisations using her skills to look after children.
Amanda, 41, was born with congenital heart disease. Her first heart surgery was at just three months old. Amanda’s condition deteriorated as she became older. She developed rheumatoid arthritis which then caused interstitial lung disease and fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which causes pain across the body.
These conditions have contributed to Amanda developing heart failure and in 2019 she was told there is no curative treatment
Amanda said, “I stayed at home for the whole of lockdown. I didn’t even go out for walks and became depressed. When the opportunity came for me to visit Fair Havens, I was very anxious. I’d accepted I needed palliative care, I’d accepted the support of a Social Worker and having therapies at home, but coming into the hospice was a completely different story. That meant I had to accept the next phase was imminent.
“I didn’t know what to expect and spent a few sessions crying with the therapists at Fair Havens. However, everyone was so welcoming and the activities are so relaxing, I don’t think about anything else. At Fair Havens, I can get away from everything and be myself.”
“Coming to Fair Havens gets me out of the house and is the only thing I really do by myself. I’ve met new friends who understand my situation. My husband has also benefited from carers support.
“Fair Havens is like the sea. If you don’t dip your toe in, you don’t realise how warm the water is. Your body may be afraid, but your mind shouldn’t be.”
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Published in 2022
Fair Havens is like the sea. If you don’t dip your toe in, you don’t realise how warm the water is.