Saddleworth gran’s new lease of life managing her own medicines

Karen Cannon IntraA grandma with acute kidney disease has thanked health staff for giving her a new lease of life after teaching her to medicate herself at home.

Karen Cannon, 53, from Diggle, Saddleworth has to take a raft of medications daily including intravenous (IV) fluids, magnesium and heparin.

Mum-of-three and grandma-of-one Karen had a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy to treat cancer which led to a condition called graft versus host which means her body’s immune system is constantly fighting the new bone marrow.

As a result Karen previously had to attend hospital for eight hours a day, twice a week, to receive fluids and medicines through a drip.

But staff at Butler Green Enhanced Intermediate Care Centre, part of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, stepped in and trained Karen to use an IV drip safely at home, saving her from having to make constant trips to hospital.

Karen said: “Before I was always going backwards and forwards to hospital. I’m under a lot of different consultants but with the IV I was just sitting around all day.

“Now I have so much more freedom and flexibility and so much less stress.

“The staff at Butler Green provided me with all the equipment and gave me the confidence to use it and it really has changed my life.”

Administering her own IV medicines has meant Karen can fit her treatment in around caring for her family and has even been able to enjoy caravan holidays in the UK.

Vicki Elcock, Manager at Butler Green, said: “We know particularly with younger people, they don’t want to spend time in hospital when they could be administering medications at home.

“By providing this training we’re allowing them to fit their IV medicines around their life and freeing up hospital beds for those most in need.”

Pennine Care is a provider of community and mental health services in Oldham. Further information can be found at www.penninecare.nhs.uk