Fleur is a vibrant and intelligent young woman in her 20's.
She has a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Type 2) and has been visiting Douglas House for over 5 years. ‘I didn’t know much about what respite was but I decided to try to keep an open mind and see what it was like. I thought the only way to find out is to go.’
‘It was better, much better than I had expected. I was really surprised how good it was and how flexible it was and just how brilliant the staff are.’
About twice a year a group of girls with life-shortening conditions meet up at Douglas House for a “Girlie Week”, when they enjoy having glamorous makeovers, having a massage, partying in the Douglas House bar, and going out into Oxford for a night out.
A while ago Fleur stayed to prepare her for an operation and then to recover post operation. ‘Before I could undergo the main operation I needed to recover from the emergency surgery I’d had and from a rather nasty infection. Douglas House was there precisely when I needed them most. I quickly began to feel better just for being in the building. The staff took exceptional care of me. The staff were incredible, at every stage. My friends and family were greatly reassured as they knew that I was receiving the very best care.
A few days later, a couple of my friends arrived for their regular respite. Even though I was not feeling anywhere near my best, I was still able to actually have a good time with my amazing friends; a few films, pizza and Scrabble. In familiar surroundings, among friendly faces, receiving care unparalleled in my experience, I recovered the strength I needed to undergo my first operation under general anaesthetic. After a successful operation, Douglas House again helped me to recover my strength and mobility.’