Bill’s story

Leuchie guest, Bill, talks about the difference the support he's had from Leuchie's physio team has made to him.

It was very early in my voyage of discovery, as I like to call it, that I made my first visit to Leuchie House.

I had recently retired and relocated to the beautiful countryside of the Scottish Borders with my wife, Liz and my dog, Magee. Prior to that, I had never experienced any major setbacks to my health. In fact, I had run the London Marathon three times over the years. So, to say my diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis, at the ripe old age of 66, came as a complete shock is an understatement!

Within the space of four years, our lives changed significantly and unexpectedly. Liz became my full time carer, forcing her to give up work, as well as taking on many of the household responsibilities that I would have traditionally done.

It wasn’t long before we both needed a break from the strain of our new 24/7 caring routine and soon found Leuchie House.

Leuchie proved to offer so much more than just a respite break - it was a lighthouse for us amongst the murky waters of health and social care that we had been struggling to navigate.

Having been left with more questions than answers after my diagnosis, it was a relief to find a whole community of support amongst the staff, volunteers and other guests at Leuchie House.

I often try to explain to people that in the beginning, I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know. Liz and I had set about purchasing a mobility scooter and other equipment as my condition worsened and were doing our best just to weather the storm. On a lighter note, Magee didn’t seem to have any problem going on daily ‘wheels’ instead of walks.

But, it wasn’t until I stayed at Leuchie that I learned how much support is really available. From the friendly bookings team offering advice on how we could access financial support in the future to the nurses and physiotherapy team coaching me on ways I could manage my health back home to even being able to meet and compare notes with other guests in the same boat – everyone just wanted to help!

In fact, one of the most amazing outcomes from my stay at Leuchie is that I am now working my way towards being able to walk again with a zimmer frame. If someone would have suggested that I could do this a year ago, I would have called them mad, but the physiotherapy team at Leuchie worked with me during my stay, slowly introducing the idea, and even made a referral back to our local community so that I now receive physiotherapy every couple weeks.

I can honestly say that my breaks at Leuchie House have benefited my life in more ways than I could have ever expected.