Mother of 5, Rosie Corr, is in her 70s. Anyone who knows her could tell you she is full of life and up until her 60s she had never missed a day off work sick. That’s why when she began to feel unwell it was so out of character for her.
In winter 2001 Rosie was on a visit to her son in England and started to feel very unwell. Her family left her in a department store to do some shopping, they returned after 15 minutes and noticed she was still standing in the same place and seemed very confused.
Rosie was brought to the hospital and initially treated for pneumonia. A few weeks later she was diagnosed with septicaemia and ended up in hospital for over a month. She has little to no recollection of this time but during the ordeal she became very frail and has since vowed never to loose that much weight again.
The septicaemia damaged Rosie’s lungs and she was left with bronchiectasis and asthma.
Years passed by and Rosie began to feel low and depressed about her breathlessness and how she could barely look after her grandchildren. She also found it difficult to explain symptoms, like her tiredness, to her friends and family and she felt bad that she could no longer support her family as she used to.
On a visit to the respiratory unit at City Hospital she saw a leaflet about the services that Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke offer. Rosie called to ask for advice and was offered a six week ‘Taking Control’ – Self Management Programme.
She tells us “Taking Control taught me how to manage my asthma and keep going. After the 6 week programme I joined my local support group. The regular meetings also get me out and about which is really important to staying positive. I’ve learned that although asthma doesn’t give you depression, being inactive and staying indoors doesn’t help.
“I’ve also brought my family to the support group so they can understand my illness and how to help me.
“I’m not as fast as I used to be but I get there in the end and that’s fine.”
Find out more about the respiratory services that Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke offer.