Bury parents thank Health Visitor who went above and beyond

health Visitor goes above and beyond

A couple with disabilities, who were struggling as new parents, have thanked a Health Visitor who went above and beyond her job to support them.

Stacy Blinkhorn, who has Spina Bifida, and Russ Guest who is visually impaired, welcomed baby Thomas into the world in 2013.

The couple from Radcliffe say, given their disabilities, becoming parents for the first time had unique challenges.

They received support from Health Visitor Chris Verity, who works for the Bury Health Visiting Service which is part of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Chris offered them advice from midway through Stacy’s pregnancy and is continuing to support the family now Thomas is two and a half.

Stacy said: “Being a new mum with a disability, I was lacking in confidence. There are restrictions about what I can do with Thomas but Chris was really positive and helped me be positive too.

Russ added: “We had to think outside the box a bit as parents but Chris helped us to adapt and find ways to look after Thomas.”

As Stacy is confined to a wheelchair, Chris advised on issues such as how to manage when Thomas has a tantrum, since Stacy cannot pick him up from the floor.

The family also encountered problems with access at their home as Stacy was unable to get from the back garden around to the front of the flat in her wheelchair, as there was no connecting ramp.

This meant that, if Thomas ran out of the back garden to the front of the flat, Stacy would be unable to follow him quickly, meaning he could get out onto the busy main road.

The couple were unable to afford the necessary work, so Chris approached the Lancashire County Nursing Trust, which offers financial support to the sick and needy, on their behalf.

Not only did the Trust provide the £400 needed for the work, the charity also gifted the couple an extra £500 to spend on Christmas presents.

Stacy said: “Getting the grant is brilliant as it means I’ll have full access from the back to the front, making me more confident with Thomas out there.

“The extra money for Christmas presents was a total surprise but it means a lot to us.”

Chris said: “Getting the grant for Stacy and Russ was fantastic. It’s been a privilege to work with them and see them develop in confidence as Thomas grows up.

“They put in all the hard work and have developed into really fantastic parents and I’m delighted to have been able to support them along the way.”

Wendy Thompson, senior manager for Children and Health Improvement in Bury, added: "This is an excellent example of the care and support offered by the Health Visiting Service which has made a significant impact on the whole family.”

Hadyn Gigg, Honorary Treasurer for Lancashire County Nursing Trust, said: “We are delighted that we were able to help the couple and wish them all the best for the future.”

Visit www.penninecare.nhs.uk or www.penninecare.nhs.uk/buryhvservice for more information.